Gwanghwamun Square, the place in which the above image was taken, is situated in the centre of Seoul and, therefore, also considered to be the heart of the country*. Its current configuration is quite recent – after some refurbishment, it reopened to the public in 2009 as a “human-centered space that harmonizes with the beautiful scenery of Gyeongbokgung Palace and Bukaksan Mountain”.** What I find interesting about it is this whole thing of paying homage to the creator of the Korean Alphabet, and also sort of celebrating Hangul. While researching more about the place, I found an old interview with mr. Lee Young-sim, from the Downtown Area Development Division in Seoul, and he had something to say on that matter of the King’s importance for Koreans. “I believe that statue of King Sejong the Great is essential as a potent brand for Gwanghwamun Square, which is the nation’s representative square. As seen from a historical context, and also considering the name of the road is Sejong-ro, King Sejong has a high relevance to the square. We erected the statue in honor of King Sejong, who invented the Hangeul, the most scientific alphabet, out of his love for the people, and nourished the sciences and the arts, as well as exerting outstanding leadership”.
I really like what he said because it does match my own idealized and romantic view of this whole episode. It may be a fault of mine, but sometimes my perspective is everything but objective, especially when dealing with historical facts.