This is one of Seoul’s beloved monuments, the Bosingak belfry. Originally constructed in 1396, it has been destroyed and rebuilt many times. In 1895, King Gojong, the penultimate monarch of Joseon, designated this as the Bosingak belfry. In the old days, it used to be rung to indicate the time of day and also to announce the opening and closing of the city gates. It was also used as an early fire alarm, too.
Nowadays, it is only rung on New Year’s Day, though not on the occasion of the Lunar New Year’s Day (설날). Also, it is used to “ring-in”, if you will, a new presidential administration as was done in 2007 when Lee Myung-bak was inagurated as president.