century, many historical and traditional parts of Seoul were changed.
The city was almost entirely destroyed in the Korean War, but an aggressive economic policy in the 1960s and 1970s helped to rebuild the city very rapidly. In the 1990s, some important historical buildings were restored, including Gyeongbokgung, one of the royal palaces of the Joseon dynasty. its capital Wiryeseong in what is now south-east Seoul. Modern Seoul descends from the Goryeo-era city of Namgyeong, which then became the capital of Korea during the Joseon dynasty. In recent years, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has undertaken major environmental projects, including the nearly $1 billion restoration of Cheonggyecheon. At the same time, the city has promoted the Seoul Digital Media City, the world’s first complex for high-tech digital technologies in IT, multimedia and entertainment, and the proposed future site of the world’s second tallest building. History The history of Seoul can be traced back as far as 18 BC, when it was established as a settlement in Baekje. It’s believed that the Wiryeseong site is in the boundaries of modern day Seoul. It has thereafter been the capital of the Joseon Dynasty. In the Japanese colonization period in the early 20th Geography Seoul is in northwest South Korea. Seoul proper comprises 605.39 km² of area, roughly bisected into northern and southern halves by the Han River. The Han River and its surrounding area played an important role in Korean history. The Three Kingdoms of Korea strove to take control of this land, where the river was used as a trade route to China (via the Yellow Sea). However, the river is no longer actively used for navigation, because its estuary is located at the borders of the two Koreas, barred for entrance by any civilian. The city is bordered by eight mountains, as well as the more level lands of the Han River plain and western areas. Economy As the headquarters for some of the world’s largest corporations, such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai, Seoul has become a major business hub in Asia. Although Seoul accounts for only 0.6 percent of South Korea’s land area, it generates 21 percent of the country’s entire GDP. Its per capita GDP ranks among the highest among large cities in the region. Many international banks have branches in Seoul, including Citigroup, HSBC and Mizuho Financial Group. One of the largest exchange banks, the Korea Exchange Bank, is also headquarted in Seoul. Shopping The largest market in South Korea, the Dongdaemun Market, is located
in Seoul. Myeongdong is a shopping and entertainment area in downtown Seoul which contains some of the city’s top stores and fashion boutiques. Nearby is the Namdaemun Market named after the Namdaemun Gate. Insadong is the cultural art market of Seoul, where traditional and modern Korean artworks, such as paintings, sculptures and calligraphy are sold. Itaewon is another notable shopping district in the city lined with boutiques and stores, mainly catering to foreign tourists and American soldiers based in the city. Shinchon is particularly popular with young people perhaps due to its proximity to some of Seoul’s universities. The Gangnam district is one of the most affluent areas in Seoul and has popular modern shopping spots such as the fashionable and upscale Apgujeong-dong area and the COEX Mall.
Subway Seoul has a comprehensive subway network that interlinks every district of the city with one another and the surrounding area. With more than 8 million passengers a day, Seoul has one of the busiest subway systems in the world. In addition, in order to cope with all of these transportation modes, Seoul’s metropolitan government employs several mathematicians to coordinate the subway, bus, and traffic schedules into one timetable. The various lines are run by Korail, Seoul Metro and SMRT. Demographics Nearly all of Seoul’s residents are Korean, with some small Chinese and Japanese minorities. A rapidly growing population of international residents now represent about 2% of the total population. The city’s population surpassed 10,421,000 as of the end of 2007 and the number of foreigners was 229,000, constituting 2.2 percent of the population.
Traditional Korean fan dance known as ‘Boo-Chae’ dance
Wecome to Seoul
Seoul is the capital and largest city of South Korea. With over ten million people, Seoul is one of the world’s largest cities. The Seoul National Capital Area - which includes the major port city of Incheon and satellite towns in Gyeonggi-do, has almost 23 million inhabitants and is the world’s second largest metropolitan area. Almost half of South Korea’s population live in the Seoul National Capital Area, and nearly one quarter in Seoul itself, making it the country’s chief economic, political and cultural center. As a Special City, it is administered directly by the national government. As a major world economic and cultural center, Seoul is considered a global city. The city has hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Seoul is consistently placed among the world’s top ten financial and commercial cities and is the global headquarters of numerous multinational companies, such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai. It is one of the five most expensive cities in the world and the second most expensive in Asia. With a GDP of over $200 billion, Seoul is the fourth richest city in Asia and one of the top twenty richest cities in the world. The city is located on the basin of the Han River in the country’s northwest. The North Korean border lies about 50 km to the north. Seoul first appears in history in 18 BC, when the Baekje, one of the Three Korean Kingdoms, established