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Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation

home > Revival of Old Palace Events > Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony

Royal Guard-Changing Ceremony

The Gate Guard
 
photo of Gwanghwamun
 

The Commander of the Gate Guard(Sumunjang of Joseon) was the chief military officer who led the guards of the main gates of Joseon's capital, Seoul, such as Heunginjimun and Sungnyemun as well as the gates of Joseon's Royal Palaces including its main palace, Gyeongbokgung.

The main duty of Sumunjang was to devote himself to the peace and security of the dynasty by guarding the safety of the monarch and his family residing in the palace. The ceremony of opening and closing the palace gates and changing the guard at Gwanghwamun, the main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, was a symbolic act of such devotion and it had to be held according to a carefully arranged ceremonious procedure.

It was in the first year(1469) of King Yejong's rule that the ceremony was fully established, and before that the duty of guarding the palaces was carried out by the Hogun('Security Army') of the Joseon central military unit called Owi('Five Commands').

The ceremony of changing the gate guard is revived at Gwanghwamun of Gyeongbokgung Palace, the main royal palace of Joseon, according to the formality established in the early 15th century. In this special event based on extensive historical research, all the uniforms, weapons and accessories of the gate guard are fully reenacted, recreating an impressive spectacle. It is expected to give spectators a rare opportunity to appreciate a part of the colorful culture of the Joseon Dynasty and help them learn more about Korea's past.

We at KCHF(Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation) believe that the restoration and revival of Joseon's court culture is a meaningful way for both Koreans and visitors from overseas to better understand the cultural and historical background of Korea today.

Introduction to Ceremonies

  • Sumunjang(Royal Guard) Changing Ceremony :

    10:00, 14:00 / two times a day / 20 minutes per ceremony

  • Gwanghwamun Gate Guard Duty Perform :

    11:00, 13:00 / two times a day / 10 minutes per ceremony

  • Sumungun(Gatekeeper) Military Training (outside Hyeopsaengmun Gate) :

    9:35 (15 minutes) / 13:35 (15 minutes)

  • Scheduled events may change without prior notice.
    Please note that the ceremony may be cancelled in the event of rain.
  • Inquiry : 02-3210-1645~6

Gwanghwamun Gate Guard

Gwanghwamun Gate Guard Photo

    • 01 Sumunjang Military order 4 Pum
    • Head of the palace gate guard
      Gyeongbeongap, Cheolrik /
      Cheolrik, Bangryeong

    • 02 Gapsa Military order 5 to 8 Pum
    • Guarding palace gates Dujeonggap,
      Cheolrik / Cheolrik

    • 03 Chabok
    • command and control duty soldier
      Cheolrik

    • 04 Gisu
    • Guard of palace gates Cheolrik

Gate Guard of Changing Ceremony

  • Sujongjang Military order 5 Pum Photo

    Sujongjang Military order 5 Pum

    Management of the Gwanghwamun
    bells and drums
    Cheolrik

  • Jongsagwan Military order 7 Pum Photo

    Jongsagwan Military order 7 Pum

    Management
    of 'gate book'
    Cheolrik, Bangryeong

  • Jeongbyeong Photo

    Jeongbyeong

    Regular soldier from
    the central army
    Cheolrik

  • Daejol Photo

    Daejol

    Guard of
    palace gates
    Cheolrik

  • Jeollugun Photo

    Jeollugun

    Announcement of
    time for the palace
    Cheolrik, Bangryeong

  • Chwitagun Photo

    Chwitagun

    Member of
    the royal military band
    Cheolrik, Tosu