Do you know which city was capital of South Korea before? Have you ever heard or been there?
So, today let’s dive into history and go about 1,000 years back. We will go to the South-East part of South Korea to Gyeongju city. Gyeongju is located in Gyeonsanbukdp province.
Few facts about Gyeongju…
- One of the oldest city in South Korea
- Adjacent to the Yellow sea
- The name of the city was changed 3 times: Sorabol -> Gerim -> Keumson -> Gyeongju (was changed in 940)
- Borders with 2 big industrial provinces: Ulsan and Pohan
- Population: around 300,000 people
- Symbol of the city: pine tree, Magpie bird and Forsatay flower
- Mayor: Joo Nak-young (since 2018)
History of Gyeongju
There were 3 big governments or dynasties (Silla, Korye, Chosun) in Korean history.
Silla Dynasty (신라)
Silla’s territory is marked with blue color
The history of Gyeongju city starts from Silla dynasty. The old notes from that dynasty state that Gyeongju was established in 57 B.C. as a result of unification of 6 small settlements. And city was established by king Park Hyeokgeose. At that time the city was called Sorabol (서라벌). As city was developing as wider were getting it’s territory, and with it territory of Silla was getting larger too. In the middle of VII century Sorabol becomes not only cultural, but also political center of South Korea. Upper-class people and aristocrats lived there. People were talking about Gyeongju even in abroad. Unfortunately, city’s prosperty didn’t continue for a long time. At the end of IX century Silla was decayed into 3 kingdoms: Silla, Hubaekje or Later Baekje and Taebong. Gyeongju was a part of Later Baekje.
A book about king Park Hyeokgeose
To be continued…