Ancient Capitals, Korea

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Ancient Capitals, Korea

Ancient CapitalsKorea

Situated in the southeastern part of Korea, Gyeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province was the capital of the Silla Kingdom (57 BC – AD 935), which was ruled by 56 kings over 992 years, the longest period of any dynasty in the history of Korea. Over the course of almost a thousand years, Silla transformed itself from a small tribal nation to a kingdom occupying more than half of the Korean Peninsula. During that time, Gyeongju had steadfastly remained its capital. Gyeongju had previously been called Seorabeol and Gyerim, and the name Gyeongju first appeared on record in AD 935.

Namsan Area: Mount Namsan has many relics symbolizing the rise and fall of the Silla kingdom. With 150 temples, 120 stone Buddhas, and 90 stone pagodas, it rightly deserves its name as 'a museum without walls.' The mountain, which is less than 500 meters high, offers many hiking trails for a leisurely stroll up to view the ancient relics.

Donghae Area Here you will find the underwater tomb of King Munmu the Great (30th monarch of Silla, 661-681) as well as the site of the Gameunsa Temple. King Munmu the Great completed the unification of the Three Kingdoms, and the temple was built to commemorate his patriotic spirit. The tomb can be seen from Bonggil Beach.

Bulguksa Area The Bulguksa Area is home to World Cultural Heritages Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto. The temple, located mid-way up the mountain and the grotto on the summit, can be reached by either bus or a taxi. There are also buses that run between the Bulguksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto.

Downtown Area This is the heart of the Silla kingdom. Here, you will find the highest concentration of cultural relics, which we recommend that you visit at your leisure by bicycle or on foot. There are a number of accommodation options near the train station and the bus terminal. You will also find many restaurants near and around major historic sites.


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