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Friday, 16 January 2015

Pungnammun Gate, Jeonju Wansan-gu, Northern Jeolla: The Surviving Gate of Jeolla Provincial Governor's Office

Pungnammun gate (Hanja: 豊南門) in 1 Pungnammun 3rd Street/Pungnammun 3-gil, Jeondong 2-ga 83-4 beonji, Jeonju Wansan-gu, Northern Jeolla Province was originally South gate among 4 gates of Jeonju Fortress and erected by Choi Yu-kyeong (최유경/崔有慶, Born: 1343 - Died: 1413), Jeolla governor in 1389 together with Jeolla Provincial Governor's Office (Jeolla Gamyeong). The complex is gazetted as Korean Republic Treasure No. 308 in January 21st 1963.

The structure was partially destroyed during the Japanese Imjin Invasion from 1592-1598. It was later rebuilt in the 44th year of King Yeongjo of the Joseon Dynasty (1768) and restored in 1978. Jungcheung and mullu are located at the center of gate lending to the arch-like features. The round features aid in the protection capabilities of Pungnammun Gate, as well as the overall grandeur.

The double pavilion with 8 layered roof, standing on Hongyemun Gate built on part of the fortress wall. The 1st floor has 3 kan of length and width, while the 2nd floor has 3 kan of length, 1 kan of width. In the front and rear on the inside of the 1st floor, there are 4 old pillars, reaching to the 2nd floor, thereby also supporting as pillars on the 2nd floor. This is not a usual arrangement of pillars in the Korean construction style of gate pavilions. Like a house with "Jusimpo," "Gongpo" is only on the pillars, but the overall structure follows the trend of a house with "Dapo." "Soesu" also follows the construction style of a house with "Dapo." The carvings of dragon head on the pillars and under the "Gongpo" in the middle of the front and back of the 1st floor are examples of decoration carvings which are characteristic of the late Joseon dynasty. 

To Jeonju citizens, Jeonju Pungnammun gate is a symbol representing Jeonju City in general. Seeing that Jeonju's representing citizen festival is Pungnap festival, the meaning of it well supposed. There is another nickname in Pungnap gate other than its unique name. The plaque of Honam Region's first castle is hanging on as it is the only existing gate of Jeonju Fortress. Centered with Pungnammun, Jeonju Hanok Village and South market are located in the vicinity.