OWL Magazine Korea

“Godiva,” A dessert café in Gwanghwamun Square

Godiva is a global company based in Belgium that operates over 700 stores in more than 100 countries.

The brand name “Godiva” is derived from Lady GODIVA, an 11th-century English noblewoman. The lady depicted sitting naked on a horse, which is the symbol of Godiva, was indeed Lady GODIVA. She bravely protested against her husband, who was planning to impose heavy taxes on the common people, and selflessly devoted her life to help the poor and suffering.

“The Story of Lady GODIVA”

The story of Lord Leofric and the beautiful Lady GODIVA dates back to the year 1043. Lord Leofric, who came to rule a small town called Coventry in England, resolved to transform Coventry into a prosperous cultural city.

Both devout religious individuals, Lord Leofric and Lady GODIVA first established a monastery. As the monastery became the hub of various social activities, the center of the region, and achieved great success, the ambitions of Lord Leofric grew. He continued to build public buildings and gradually increased the taxes on the citizens. As taxes were levied on everything, even manure, the burden and concerns of the poor people grew day by day.

Lady GODIVA pleaded with her husband to lower the taxes for the suffering poor people. Although Lord Leofric, a steadfast religious man, consistently rejected his wife’s pleas, Lady GODIVA did not give up. Tired of her persistent requests, Lord Leofric eventually said, “Alright. If you ride naked through the town of Coventry, I will lower the taxes and cancel the construction of buildings.” Of course, it was a proposal he thought she would never fulfill.

However, the next day, Lady GODIVA rode through the town of Coventry without a stitch of clothing, just as her husband had demanded. Upon hearing the rumor that she would ride through their territory naked, the citizens, moved by her heart, decided that no one would look at her nudity as she passed, and closed their doors, windows, and lowered their curtains out of respect for Lady Leofric’s courage and sacrifice. It is said that Lord Leofric eventually kept his promise.

  • Anecdote about Lady GODIVA: link

“Godiva, Well-Known for Chocolate”

Today, Godiva is a brand well-known for chocolate. While it is recognized as representative Belgian chocolate, it is more commonly seen outside Belgium than in its home country. In Korea, you can find Godiva more easily than in Belgium, and there are three times as many stores in Hong Kong compared to Belgium.

“Meeting Godiva in Gwanghwamun Square”

You can also find Godiva in Gwanghwamun. It’s located near the statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin in Gwanghwamun Square. It’s right next to Gwanghwamun Square, and you can find it to the west from the square’s perspective.

Known for desserts like chocolates, they also serve coffee like Americano. Combining the sweetness of chocolate with the bitterness of Americano can be quite enjoyable.

The store is divided into two floors. You can place your order on the first floor, and there is seating available on the second floor, providing a leisurely space.

It’s a place where you can feel a kind of old-fashioned splendor that doesn’t quite align with current trends. Sitting by the window, you can enjoy the view of Gwanghwamun Square through the large windows.

A great place near Gwanghwamun Square to spend some leisurely time, and it’s also a nice spot to taste some dessert after a meal.

“Godiva Gwanghwamun Branch, Dessert Café in Seoul”

  • Address: 1st and 2nd Floor, 159 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-736-7717
  • Business Hours: 11:00 – 22:00
  • Website: link