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City Overview


Located at the heart of the Korean Peninsula, Seoul has always been an important strategic point throughout the centuries in terms of defense and the economy, from one kingdom to the next. The three kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla (BCE 57 – CE 688) all fought over the area that is now Korea’s capital. Indeed, whichever kingdom claimed Seoul became the dominant power. The Joseon Dynasty (1392 - 1910) declared Seoul its capital, a role that Seoul still plays.


World History

266 BC
Rome unified with the Italian Peninsula
221 BC
Emperor Qin Shi Huang unified China


History of Seoul

History of Seoul 30,000 BC

30,000 BC
The site in Myeonmok-dong, Seoul, was formed.
20,000 BC
The sites in Yeoksam-dong and Garak-dong, Seoul, were formed.
5000 BC
The site in Amsa-dong, Seoul, was formed.
The site in Garak-dong, Seoul, was formed.


World History

Pompeii buried by the eruption of Vesuvius
Later Han of China divided into Wei, Shu and Wu
Fall of The West Roman Emperor .
The Tang Dynasty of China was established.
Paper making skill of China spread to the Saracens in the wake of the Battle of Talas




2~3 Century AD
Pungnaptoseong Fortress was built.
3~4 Century AD
The tombs in Seokchon-dong, Seoul were built. Mongchontoseong Fortress was built.
Baekje occupied the lower reaches of the Han (River)
Silla occupied the lower reaches of the Han (River)
A monument of King Jinheung of Silla was erected on Bukhansan (Mountain)
Goguryeo attacked Silla’s Bukhansan Fortress.
Silla established Bukhansan-ju(referring to its newly occupied area north of the Han River).
Shilla Underlined established Jangeuisa Temple in Hansan-ju (present-day Seoul) to pray for the peace of the spirits of two military commanders killed in action
Incorporation of the present-day Seoul area into Hansan-ju
The area of present-day Seoul was renamed Hanyang-gun


World History

Europe engaged in seven major Crusades against Muslim territories in the East
Genghis Khan of Mongolia lead an expedition against Europe



A stone inscribed with Yangju

The area of present-day Seoul was renamed Yangju (during the Goryeo period)
The area of present-day Seoul was renamed Namgyeong
Kim Wi-je recommended to relocate the capital to Namgyeong
Royal palaces build in Namgyeong.
Namgyeong was renamed Hanyang-bu in the fifth year of the reign of King Gongmin of Goryeo
Hanyang-bu is renamed Namgyeong
Royal palaces and castle walls built in Namgyeong (in the sixth year of the reign of King Gongmin).
King U of Goryeo decided to relocate the capital to Hanyang (in the eighth year of his reign).
King U relocated the capital to Gaegyeong
King U attempted to relocate the capital to Hanyang in the 13th year of his reign. Jungheungsanseong Fortress was built.

World History

Columbus discovered the New Continent
The Industrial Revolution
The American Revolution
The French Revolution
The Opium Wars between China and Great Britain
Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone
The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens
Fall of The Berlin Wall 1.
The Xinhai Revolution delete in China
World War I
World War II
The People’s Republic of China (PRC) was established.
Apollo 11 of America landed on the moon
The Vietnam War ended.
Windows 95 marked as a milestone in software development.



The appearance of Hanyang The appearance of Hanyang

October 1394
Joseon relocated the capital to Hanyang
Hanyang-bu was renamed Hanseong-bu
September 1396
Construction of the castle wall surrounding Hanyang was completed.
February 1398
Construction of Sungnyemun Gate was completed.
The capital was moved to Gaeseong from Hanseong.
September 1404
Construction of Gyeongbokgung Palace was completed.
October 1405
The capital was moved to Hanseong. Changdeokgung Palace build.
April 1407
Along with the streets,five bridges in Hanseong-bu were named.
Stores to be leased to people in Sijeon (a government-operated market) were built.
February 1426
Houses and 116 stores in Sijeon destroyed by a large fire in Hanseong-bu.
February 1506
The boundaries of the capital were designated.
September 1601
Donggwanwangmyo (known as Dongmyo), a shrine for Guan Yu, a third Century Chinese military commander, was built in Hanseong.
November 1619
1,000 houses and Nambyeolgung Palace destroyed by a large fire in Hanseong.
Gyeonghigung Palace was repaired.
Construction of Bukhansanseong Fortress commenced.
The boundaries of the capital were re-designated.
Following a newly formulated plan, an overhaul of Hanseong's streams commenced. Juncheon Jeolmok (Regulations on Streams) was drawn up.
Stream banks in Hanseong reinforced with stone
May 1842
Streams in the capital were dredged.
January 1852
The Hanseong-bu building was destroyed by fire.
April 1864
Stores between Gwangtonggyo (Bridge) and Jonggak were destroyed by fire.
April 1865
Repairs of Gyeongbokgung Palace began.


First clock/watch shop of the country opened in Gurigae (present Euliiro-ga)
April 1894
First dental clinic of the country opened in Namdaemun-ro
July 1896
District of Seoul city rearranged within the city and commenced work to improve Seoul’s sewage system.
September 1896
Seoul City announced urban planning between Hwangtohyeon and Heunginmun Gates and between Daegwangtonggyo (Bridge) and Sungnyemun Gate.
January 1897
Appearance of the first oil-fueled street lights in Seoul.
April 1899
Severance Hospital build by an American.
May 1899
A single-track streetcar began operating between Seodaemun and Cheongnyangni.



April 1900
Hanseong Electric Company installed three street lights on Jongno 3-ga.
June 1902

Hanseong Phone Exchange began operations (13 customers, one of them was Korean)

June 1904
Public toilet installed. Relieving oneself on the street prohibited.
March 1908
Part of the Seoul City Wall was demolished to build tracks for streetcars.
August 1906∼ August 1908

The installation of water supply pipes was completed.

October 1909
Installation of underground gas supply pipes at Jingogae (Ridge) commenced.
June 1910
Construction of the stone embankment at the Hang River Wharf (Yongsan-Seogang) commenced.
December 1910
Siheung-gun was incorporated into Yeongdeungpo-gu.

A historical photograph of Seoul

The first Japanese-owned taxi business launched in Gyeongseong.
December 1912
Construction of the double-track of Hangangcheolgyo (Railroad Bridge) was completed.
January 1913
Gyeongseong land value and grading was reassessed.
June 1915
Jonggak was relocated following the re-zoning of Gyeongseong.
October 1917
Hangang Indogoyo (Bridge) construction was completed.
December 1919
Public markets open in Myeong-dong and Jongno.
July 1925
Yongsan and Ttukseom areas were flooded.
October 1925
Gyeongseong Stadium opened.
December 1925
A ridge beam installation ceremony was held at the Gyeongseong-bu Office building (Seoul City Hall).
April 1928
Gyeongseong-bu commenced operation of intra-city bus lines (base fare: 7 jeon).
April 1929
Yeouido Airport opened.
January 1930

Construction of the Gyeonseong branch (present-day Shinsegae) of Mitsukoshi Department Store of Japan was completed.

August 1934~October 1936
Hangang Indogyo (Bridge) build.
July 1938
Introduced price labels for consumer goods in Gyeongseong.
August 1938
Gyeongseong-bu restricts liquor licenses and business practices at alcohol-serving establishments.
September 1939
Construction of Gyeongseong Chojiya Department Store (present-day Midopa) was completed.

Hangang Indogyo

Gyeongseong city renamed as Seoul.
August 1948
The number of registered vehicles in Seoul stands at 4,706.
March 1949
The first Seoul Culture Prize was awarded.
July 1952
The Hangangcheolgyo (Railroad Bridge) reopened after repair.
September 1953
The Seoul Intra-City Bus Cooperative was established.
January 1954
The Seoul Tax Cooperative was established.
May 1955

Seoul City commences demolition of unauthorized buildings.

May 1958
Hangang Indogyo (Bridge) reopened.

Seoul Subway

1958~December 1961
The Cheonggyecheon (Stream) was paved with concrete.
December 1961
Mapo Apartments, the country’s first apartment complex, was built.
January 1962
Seoul Metropolitan Government’s announcement of the Seoul Citizens’ Charter.
May 1962

Seoul Metropolitan Government announces the Seoul Citizens’ Charter.

Construction of a pedestrian underpass at Gwanghwamun was completed.
January 1966~December 1969
Construction begins on Hanganggyo 1 (Bridge) (present-day Hannamdaegyo)
June 1967
The Seun Arcade and a pedestrian underpass on Taepyeong-ro were opened.
August 1967
Construction of the Cheonggye Overpass was completed.
April 1968
A bronze statue of Admiral Yi Sun-sin was erected on Sejong-ro.
November 1968
Street cars in Seoul cease operation.
March 1969~August 1970
Namsan Tunnels 1 and 2 were built.
April 1970
Wau Apartments in Mapo collapsed.
December 1971
Daeyeongak Hotel destroyed by fire.
April 1971~August 1974
Seoul Subway Line 1 was built.
July 1972

Jamsildaegyo (Bridge) opened.

May 1973
Seoul Children’s Grand Park opened in Neung-dong.
May 1976~May 1978
Namsan Tunnel 3 was built.
April 1978
Sejong Center opened for Performing Arts.
September 1979
Seongsudaegyo (Bridge) opened.

Seoul Subway

January 1977~May 1984
Seoul Grand Park opened in Gwacheon.
March 1978~May 1984
Seoul Subway Line 2 was built.
October 1985
Seoul Subway Line 3 and 4 opened.
May 1986
The 88 Olympic Expressway opened.
October 1986
The first cruise boats commence operation on the Han River.
First McDonald’s of the country opened in Apgujeong-dong.
February 1991
Regulations on automobile-use started with the intention of reducing the amount of automobile traffic by 10%.
October 1994
Seongsudaegyo (Bridge) collapsed.
November 1994
Seoul City celbrated the 600th year of Seoul’s establishment as the capital of the Joseon Dynasty, buried a Commemorative Time Capsule in Namsangol Hanok village.
January 1995
The pay-per-bag household waste disposal system was adopted.
February 1995
Bus-only traffic lanes introduced.
June 1995
Sampoong Department Store collapsed.
May 1990~November 1995
Construction of Seoul Subway Line 5 was carried out.
April 1996
Construction of Seoul Park, in Yeouido Plaza, began.
November 1998
Construction of Seoul World Cup Stadium, in Sangam-dong, began.


World History

March 2000
Taiwan’s first regime change in 50 years takes place.
December 2000
George Bush of the Republican Party was elected as President of the United States.
September 2001
The 9/11 terrorist attack in the United States.
March 2003
US invaded Iraq.
February 2005
Kyoto Protocol officially enacted.
December 2006
Ban Ki-Moon was elected as the eighth UN Secretary General.
January 2008
Obama inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States.
May 2008
Earthquake stricked in Sichuan, China.
September 2008
Global Financial Crisis began.
March 2011
Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami struck.
November 2015
Terror attack in Paris, France.
August 2016
Opening of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro
April 2018
Hosting of the 2nd Inter-Korean Summit
June 2018
Opening of the 21st FIFA World Cup in Russia
North Korea–United States Summit
September 2018
Hosting of the 3rd Inter-Korean Summit



Seoul World Cup Stadium

August 2000
Seoul Subway Line 7 opened.
September 2000
Media City 2000 was held.
October 2000
The Third Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was held.
October 2000
Seoul City Tour bus began operation.
October 2000
Insadong-gil was opened as part of a plan to create pedestrian walkways in historic and cultural areas.
October 2000
Seoul Drum Festival 2000 was held.
December 2000
Gwanghwamun Gallery was opened in Gwanghwamun Station on Subway Line 5
December 2000
Seoul Subway Line 6 was opened.
December 2001
The Seoul World Cup Stadium was opened in Sangam-dong.
May 2002
The Korea-Japan World Cup Games began.
October 2005
The Cheonggyecheon (Stream) Restoration Project was completed.
July 2009
Seoul Subway Line 9 was opened.
November 2010
The 2010 G20 Seoul Summit was held.
February 2011
Sinbundang Line (Railroad) was opened.
March 2012
The 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit was held.
October 2015
Seoul City celebrated the 10th year of Cheonggyecheon (Stream) Restoration Project
May 2017
Opening of Seoullo 7017
November 2017
Opening of Seoul Battleship Park
May 2019
Opening of Gyeongchun Line (Railroad) Forest (whole section)
Opening of Seoul Botanic Park
October 2019
Hosting of the 100th National Sports Festival in Seoul