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Seul

Seoul

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  Summary  

Seoul , officially the Seoul Special City, is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world. The Seoul National Capital Area is the world's second largest metropolitan area with over 20 million inhabitants, which includes the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province. Over half of South Korea's population live in the Seoul National Capital Area, and nearly a quarter in Seoul itself, making it the country's foremost economic, political, and cultural center.

Seoul has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years, with its foundation dating back to 18 B.C. when Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, established its capital in what is now south-east Seoul. It continued as the capital of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty and the Korean Empire.

The Seoul National Capital Area is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeokgung, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty.

Today, Seoul is considered to be a leading global city, ranking among the top ten global cities in the Global Cities Index of 2010. It is one of the world's top ten financial and commercial centers, home to major multinational conglomerates such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai-Kia. In 2008, Seoul was named the world's sixth most economically powerful city by Forbes.

Seoul has a highly technologically advanced infrastructure. Seoul was the first city to feature DMB, a digital mobile TV technology and WiBro, a wireless high-speed mobile internet service. It has a fast, high-penetration 100 Mbit/s fibre-optic broadband network, which is being upgraded to 1 Gbit/s by 2012. Seoul Station houses the 350 km/h KTX bullet train and the Seoul Subway is the third busiest in the world, with over 2 billion passengers every year. Seoul is connected via AREX to Incheon International Airport, rated as the best airport in the world by Airports Council International.

Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2010 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.

  History  

Settlement began in Baekje, Wirye-seong, in 17 BC. The location of that site is thought to be within the boundaries of modern day Seoul, and the remains may be at Pungnap Toseong or Mongchon Toseong. It became the capital of the Joseon Dynasty in 1394. There were some modernization efforts by the late 19th century and Seoul became the first city in East Asia to have electricity, trolley cars, water, telephone, and telegraph systems all at the same time. During the Japanese colonial period in the early 20th century, the city was called Gyeongseong (경성, lit. "Capital City"; ). After independence in 1945, Koreans renamed the city Seoul (which also means "Capital City" in Korean). In 1949, Seoul was separated from Gyeonggi Province and was granted status as "Seoul Special City". In 1950, during the Korean War, Seoul was occupied by North Korean troops and the city was almost entirely destroyed. The city was retaken by UN Forces on 14 March 1951. Since then, the city boundary has steadily grown into surrounding administrative divisions of Gimpo, Goyang, and Shiheung counties. The current boundaries were established in 1995.

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  Sources

Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Seul", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.