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Seoul
서울시
Special city
Seoul Special City
서울특별시
Seoul City Montage.png
Flag of Seoul
Flag
Official seal of Seoul
Seal
Coat of arms of Seoul
Coat of arms
Official logo of Seoul
Wordmark
Country South Korea
Region Seoul Capital Area
Area
 • Special city 605.21 km2 (233.67 sq mi)
Elevation 38 m (125 ft)
Population (2018)
 • Special city 9,838,892
 • Density 16,256.99/km2 (42,105.4/sq mi)
 • Metro 25,600,000
 • Demonym 서울시민 (Seoul-simin), Seoulite
 • Dialect Gyeonggi
Bird Korean magpie
Color Seoul Red
Flower Forsythia
Font Seoul fonts (Seoul Hangang and Seoul Namsan)
Mascot Haechi
Slogan "I·SEOUL·U"
Song "S.E.O.U.L"
Tree Ginkgo
Nominal GDP
(Special City)
US$329 billion
Nominal GDP per capita
(Special City)
US$33,659
Website seoul.go.kr
Seoul Deoksu-gung
Old and new buildings in the downtown of Seoul

Seoul is the biggest city of the Republic of Korea (South Korea), and its capital. Its official name is Seoul Special City.

It has a population of 10 million which is about 1/5 of the Korean population and 1/7 of Korea peninsula, and covers an area of 610 km² that is only 0.6% of South Korea. It is the 6th most populated city in the world, and 7th most crowded. Seoul is the center of politics, economy, culture, transportation, and education for South Korea.

Seoul is in the middle of the Korean Peninsula. Han River is a major river in South Korea and the fourth longest river on the Korean peninsula. This river goes across Central Seoul.

Seoul hosted the 1986 Asian Games and the 1988 Olympic Games. It also hosted the 2007 World Schools Debating Championships.

History

Gyeongbok-gung palace-05 (xndr)
Gyeongbokgung
Donggwol-do
Donggwoldo, the landscape painting of Changdeokgung

Seoul is thought to be the capital of Baekje Kingdom (백제) from 18 BC. At that time, the name of the city was Wiryeseong (Korean: 위례성). Wiryeseong is thought to be Songpa-gu, Seoul. During Silla Period (신라시대), Hanju (한주) was name of Seoul. During Goryeo Period (고려시대), the name of Seoul was Namgyeong (남경) which means "the south capital". There was a palace of Goryeo Dynasty. Hanyang was name of Seoul in late Goryeo Period. After establishment of Joseon Dynasty, the name of Seoul was Hanseong (한성) and Hanseong became the capital of Joseon Kingdom. From 1910 to 1945 when Korea was under Japanese rule, the name of Seoul was Gyeongseong (경성). Since South Korea was started in 1948, it has been the capital, except for a short time during the Korean War. Seoul became a special city in 1948. April 19th Revolution (4.19혁명) and June Revolution (6월 민주항쟁) was took place in Seoul.

Language

Today, Korean is the official language in Seoul and is spoken in both North and South Korea. Hangul is the alphabet for the written language. Hangul(한글,Korean) was made by Sejong the Great in 1443. Hangul has 19 consonants and 21 vowels and was said to be a scientific language patterned on the vocal organs. Hangul replaced the Hanja, or Chinese characters, which were used before and are still occasionally used.

Economy

Gangam-001
Gangnam Commercial Area

Seoul is the business and financial hub of South Korea. Although it accounts for only 0.6 percent of the nation's land area, 48.3 percent of South Korea's bank deposits were held in Seoul in 2003, and the city generated 23 percent of the country's GDP overall in 2012.

Manufacturing

The traditional, labour-intensive manufacturing industries have been continuously replaced by information technology, electronics and assembly-type of industries; however, food and beverage production, as well as printing and publishing remained among the core industries.

Major manufacturers are headquartered in the city, including Samsung, LG, Hyundai, Kia and SK. Notable food and beverage companies include Jinro, whose soju is the most sold alcoholic drink in the world, beating out Smirnoff vodka; top selling beer producers Hite (merged with Jinro) and Oriental Brewery. It also hosts food giants like Seoul Dairy Cooperative, Nongshim Group, Ottogi, CJ, Orion, Maeil Holdings, Namyang Dairy Products and Lotte.

Finance

Yeouido
Yeouido

Seoul hosts large concentration of headquarters of International companies and banks, including 15 companies on fortune 500 list such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai.

Commerce

Lotte World Tower at sunset
Lotte World Tower and Jamsil Railway Bridge

The largest wholesale and retail market in South Korea, the Dongdaemun Market, is located in Seoul. Myeongdong is a shopping and entertainment area in downtown Seoul with mid- to high-end stores, fashion boutiques and international brand outlets. The nearby Namdaemun Market, named after the Namdaemun Gate, is the oldest continually running market in Seoul.

Insadong is the cultural art market of Seoul, where traditional and modern Korean artworks, such as paintings, sculptures and calligraphy are sold. Hwanghak-dong Flea Market and Janganpyeong Antique Market also offer antique products. Some shops for local designers have opened in Samcheong-dong, where numerous small art galleries are located. While Itaewon had catered mainly to foreign tourists and American soldiers based in the city, Koreans now comprise the majority of visitors to the area. The Gangnam district is one of the most affluent areas in Seoul and is noted for the fashionable and upscale Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong areas and the COEX Mall. Wholesale markets include Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market and Garak Market.

The Yongsan Electronics Market is the largest electronics market in Asia. Electronics markets are Gangbyeon station metro line 2 Techno mart, ENTER6 MALL & Shindorim station Technomart mall complex.

Times Square is one of Seoul's largest shopping malls featuring the CGV Starium, the world's largest permanent 35 mm cinema screen.

Technology

Seoul has been described as the world's "most wired city", ranked first in technology readiness by PwC's Cities of Opportunity report. Seoul has a very technologically advanced infrastructure.

Seoul is among the world leaders in Internet connectivity, being the capital of South Korea, which has the world's highest fibre-optic broadband penetration and highest global average internet speeds of 26.1 Mbit/s. Since 2015, Seoul has provided free Wi-Fi access in outdoor spaces through a 47.7 billion won ($44 million) project with Internet access at 10,430 parks, streets and other public places. Internet speeds in some apartment buildings reach up to 52.5Gbit/s with assistance from Nokia, and though the average standard consists of 100 Mbit/s services, providers nationwide are rapidly rolling out 1Gbit/s connections at the equivalent of US$20 per month.

Sports

Seoul-Olympic.Park-01
Olympic Park, Seoul.
Seoul.Olympic.Stadium.01 copy
Seoul Olympic Stadium.

The most famous soccer team in Seoul is FC Seoul. Their stadium is Sang-am World cup Stadium. It can seat 66,806 people.

Seoul has three famous baseball teams that all play as part of the Korea Baseball Organization. One is The Doosan Bears and they have many famous players. The LG Twins won the Korean Series in 1990 and 1994. Both of these teams play at Jamsil Stadium. Lastly The Nexen heroes who use Mokdong stadium .

Seoul has many stadiums such as Olympic stadium, Jamsil Stadium, Sang-am World Cup Stadium, and Mokdong Stadium. Olympic Stadium was built in 1988 for the Olympics. It was used for the opening and closing ceremonies. World Cup stadium was used for several games in the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Transportation

Seoul Buses
Seoul Buses
Yongsansta09
Yongsan Station

Seoul’s transportation dates back to the Korean empire, when the first streetcar lines were laid and a railroad between Seoul and Incheon was completed. Today, because of the effectiveness of Seoul’s transportation network it has become a great transportation center for Asia.

Train

Seoul is connected to every big Korean city by the KTX high speed train, which goes more than 300km/h(186mph).

Subway

Seoul has a big subway now that connects every part of the city and many other close cities.

Bus

Seoul bus system is operated by the seoul metropolitan government, with four bus areas servicing most of the city.

Airport

There are two airports close to Seoul. One is Gimpo International Airport, the other is Incheon International Airport .

Culture

Museums, Art Galleries, and Libraries

  • Museums and Art Galleries → See List of Museums in Seoul
  • National Library of Korea
  • National Assembly Library of Korea

Historic Sights

  • Changgyeong Palace
  • Changdeok Palace
  • Deoksu Palace
  • Gyeongbok Palace
  • Gyeonghui Palace
  • Donggwanwang Shrine
  • Hwangudan
  • Nakseongdae
  • Sajikdan
  • Seodaemun Prison
  • Royal Shrine of Joseon Dynasty
  • Pungnap Earthen Wall

Tourist Attractions

Parks & Stadiums

  • Boramae Park
  • Children's Grand Park
  • Han River Citizens' Park
  • Mount Bukhan National Park
  • Seoul Forest
  • Seoul Olympic Park
  • World Cup Park
  • Yangjae Citizens' Forest
  • Yeoui Island Park
  • Seoul Olympic Stadium
  • Seoul World Cup Stadium

Performing Centers

  • Chongdong Theater
  • National Center for Korean Traditional Performing Arts
  • National Theater of Korea
  • Sejong Center for the Performing Arts
  • Seoul Arts Center

Broadcasing Stations

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