Hammering Man

Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu

Constructed from 50 tonnes of steel by American artist Jonathan Borofsky, this 22m-tall superman of a blacksmith built in 2002 is caught still in the motion of hammering. The statue provokes thoughts about work: is it just a meaningless ritual that dominates our lives? Borofsky has designed more than 10 other similar statues around the world.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Gwanghwamun & Jongno-gu attractions

1. Seoul Museum of History

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To gain an appreciation of the total transformation of Seoul down the centuries, visit this fascinating museum, which charts the city's history since the…

2. Heunghwamun

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The impressive entrance gate to Gyeonghuigung has toured around Seoul, and was moved to its present site in 1988.

3. SeMA Gyeonghuigung Museum of Art

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Two large, white hangar-like structures make up this branch of Seoul Museum of Art. Periodically changing exhibitions of a variable quality and interest…

4. Gyeonghuigung

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The Palace of Shining Celebration, completed in 1623, used to consist of a warren of courtyards, buildings, walls and gates spread over a large area. But…

5. Sejong Gallery

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The regularly changing exhibitions at the gallery in the Sejong Center, the largest cultural complex in Seoul, are generally worth a look for an insight…

6. Seokjojeon

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A good example of Deoksugung's potpourri of contrasting architectural styles, the grand neoclassical-style Seokjojeon was designed by British architect GR…

7. Admiral Yi Sun-Sin Statue

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This statue is a downtown landmark. Seoul-born Yi Sun-sin (1545–98) designed new types of metal-clad warships called geobukseon (turtle boats), and used…

8. Daehan Empire History Museum

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The Daehan Empire History Museum, with its opulent lobby, dining rooms and bedrooms, is in the neoclassical-style Seokjojeon. Visiting is only possible by…