For over 600 years, Gwanghwamun Gate has towered over Seoul from its early days as a provincial town to what is now one of the world's greatest cities. During its history, it has been a symbol of power, despair, destruction, independence and now optimism. Located in one of Korea's most sacred places, Gwanghwamun at times lay in rubble, and a few decades after reconstruction it was moved to the side during the early 20th century to make way for a Japanese colonial building.

With its recent restoration, Gwanghwamun, like the country it gloriously anchors, is now free of past indignities and is a proud symbol of the incredible transformation that has made Korea a late 20th miracle and a 21st century trendsetter.

Miracle, however, really is not the right word to describe Korea's spectacular change and its current role as a global pacesetter. Hard work, sweat, tears and a little bit of fun on the side has taken Korea and Koreans to where they are today. Whether displayed in architecture, design or technology, Korea, like this incredible gate, shines with much deserved pride.

Gwanghwamun at night.

Gwanghwamun at night.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.