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Discovery of Seoul
Price per Unit (piece): KRW 32,000
USD 22.64
Author: You Myung-jong & Choi Dae-han
Publisher: Discovery Media
Pub. Date: Feb. 2006
Pages: 156
Cover: Hardcover
Dimensions (in inches): 25.4 x 8.54 x 0.78
ISBN: 9788995609125
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Seoul, located in the central western region of the Korean Peninsula, is one of the oldest cities in East Asia. The long and magnificent history of Seoul began in BC 18 when it was declared the capital city of the Baekje Dynasty. For 500 years, it played a key role as the most essentialcity in the Korean Peninsula. Later on, it served as the capital city of the Joseon Dynasty for 518 years. Today, Seoul is the capital city of the Republic of Korea. While Beijing has an 850-year old history and Tokyo merely a 150-year old history, Seoul has a longer more abundant and richer history. 

Seoul is a city with two attractive points. Quiet traditional images of the past coexist with dynamic modern images in this large city. The old earth fortresses, traditional Korean houses, ancient palaces represent the traditional aspect of Seoul while the soaring skyscrapers and rapidly growing digital industry represent the vibrant modern aspect of Seoul. 

Seoul also has two very different faces. Visitors can appreciate a simple and carefree natural space in the midst of the city’s complex environment. The dynamic urban scenes and busy streets are a symbol of the modernization that Korea has achieved during the last 50 years. On the other hand, Seoul also possesses one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world. 
Two hundred years ago a poet sat on an elevated pavilion and praised the Hangang River and wrote "I’m rowing a small boat alone and fishing the spring of the Hangang River."Today tour boats cruise the Hangang River. The Hangang River is called "Seoul’s lifeline"because the history and fate of these two is connected like two sides of a coin. If readers understand the history, joys and sorrows of this river, they will surely understand the history of Seoul and Korea. 

Seoul is host to a national park called Mt. Bukhansan. This mountain is a majestic endowment from the heavens. Nowhere in the world will visitors find a large city with a population of over 10 million people which contains a beautiful mountain such as Mt. Bukhansan. Seoul possesses a myriad other mountains besides Mt. Bukhansan. The most notable mountains in Seoul are Mt. Namsan, Mt. Inwangsan, Mt. Bukaksan, Mt. Achasan, Mt. Daemosan, Mt. Muaksan and Mt. Gwanaksan. In short, Seoul is a city of mountains. Just by looking up, visitors will easily see many mountains. A special gift that Mother Nature has given to Seoul residents is the different colors mountains wears at every change of the season. 

Seoul lies at the center of Korea. Political, diplomatic, economic and cultural activities commence in Seoul and spread to other local provinces and abroad. Seoul transformed into an international city when it hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup Games. Now at the forefront of the world IT and digital industry, Seoul hopes to become the core logistics and financial hub of the Far East. As one of Asia’s most important cities, it is racing fast to become a leading city in the world. 

This book contains Seoul’s past and present. It is a vivid depiction of Seoul’s cityscapes, nature, culture and streets. Through this book, I hope readers will discover new and unique aspects of this old city so rich with countless charms. 
A great number of people contributed to the creation of this book. Particular thanks are owed to poet Lee Ji-hye, editor Park Mi-young, translators Paik Un-he and Debora Paik, and graphic designer Park Young-mee. They have always provided us with new inspiration and creative ideas. 

While making this book, we all found ourselves rediscoveringthe beauty of Seoul. I would like to dedicate this book to our ancestors, who for 2,000 years have created Seoul providing us with a new chance to experience its deep and abundant beauty, and to the 10 million citizens of Seoul who are still creating the future image of this magnificent city.

Writers Yoo Myeong-Jong · Choi Dae-han 
Photographer Choi Hang-young 

 
 

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