This broad, elongated square provides a grand approach to Gyeongbokgung and is used for various events (as well as protests). Giant statues celebrate two national heroes: Admiral Yi Sun-sin, 1545–98, who stands atop a plinth at the square's southern end; and King Sejong, 1397–1450, who sits regally on a throne in the middle of the square. An entrance at the base of the King Sejong statue leads down to an underground exhibition with sections on both the men.
King Sejong is revered as a scholar king of unmatched abilities. Admiral Yi Sun-sin designed new types of metal-clad warships called geobukseon (turtle boats), and used them to help achieve a series of stunning victories over the much larger Japanese navy that had attacked Korea at the end of the 16th century.