The name Seongdong is dubbed as ‘the east of a castle town’ and refers to the castle walls that once surrounded the capital city of Seoul. There was an eastward open plain just outside the castle through Gwanghuimun-the main and largest gate of Gyeongbok Palace-, one of four small gates in history. This open field was commonly called “Donggyo” or “Jeongyo.” Jeongyo signifies ‘the piercing of an arrow' so the open field is called Salgoji in Korean.
At the edge of this open field lies the Han River at which riverside ferry crossings such as Ttukseom and, DuMutGae (DuMut Creek) were located. This area served as the gateway for transportation of passengers and goods such as lumber and firewood from Gangwon-do, as well as food and miscellaneous goods from Chungcheong-do and Gyeongsang-do. On the mountains overlooking Jeoja-do, located in the backhills of DuMutGae and Apgujeong-dong, a Dokseodang where many brilliant talents who led the Joseon Dynasty absorbed themselves in scholastic research (Dokseodang was a research and training center for young talents in the public service). Up until the Joseon Dynasty, these eastern outskirts of Seoul formed a town of infinite peace, in which farming communities abounded, with residents leading relaxed lifestyles.
The Samguk TongIl Shilla Dynasty (BC57~935; ‘Samguk TongIl’ or three-state union in Korean)
With the development and diffusion of ironware, areas around the Han River rapidly developed agriculture with upon their fertile lands. The three states of Goguryeo, Baekje and Shilla had been fighting for control over this region, and eventually Shilla conquered during the King Jinheung regime-year 16 (year 553). During this time, regions of Seoul including Seongdong-gu, Yanguu-gune, and Goyang-gune came under the jurisdiction of Hanyang-gune which is where Seoul’s nickname, Hanyang, originated.
The Goryeo Dynasty (918~1392)
The Seongdong district was called Yanguu-ro up until the Jeongjong era; and Namgyeong during the period between Munjong and King Chungryeol; and thereafter Hanyang-bu from the era of King Chungseon to the late Goryeo Dynasty. With the expansion of Gyeonggi during the Munjong regime-year 23 (year 1069), the Namgyeong region where Seongdong district fell under was transferred into the jurisdiction of the new Gyeonggi province, along with Yanggwang-do, Gyoju-do and parts of Seohae-do.
The Joseon Dynasty (1392~1910)
In the Joseon Dynasty, Seongdong district's administrative jurisdiction can be represented by the Nambu Dumo-bang area in Hanseong-bu. During the Jeongjo regime -year 13, areas of Dumo-bang, Incheon-bang, Goyangju-myeon and Mangu-myeon in Gyeonggi-do fell under located in Seongdong district's jurisdiction. Farming communities slowly began to emerge at this point. The total number of households in Hanseong-bu was 43,929 with a population of 189,153.
Seongdong’s Course of Development
||Renamed from Hanseong-bu to Gyeonseong-bu with five bu’s and eight myeons and came under Dumo-myeon, Inchang-dong.
||With Gyeongseong-bu regional expansion, Gyeongseong-bu was reclassified to fall under the newly-expanded Gyeongseong-bu, and was under the jurisdiction of the Dong-bu Local Office.
||Seongdong district was created with the establishment of the district system (9 Gu areas).
||Renamed from Gyeongseong-bu to Seoul-si (Seoul City).
||Elevated to Seoul Metropolitan City (with 9 Gu’s); the basis for the date for District Citizens’ Day.
||The entire region of Ttukdo-myeon, Goyang-gune, Gyeonggi-do was transferred into Seoul’s jurisdiction with its expansion and Ttukdo Local Office was established (Seongsu-dong 1-ga and 2-ga, and 14 ri’s including Songjeong-ri, Mojin-ri,Hwayang-ri, Neung-ri, Gunjang-ri, Junggok-ri, Gueui-ri, Myeongmok-ri).
||Ttukdo Local Office closed and transferred directly under Seongdong district jurisdiction.
||Jamwon-dong in Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seocho-dong, and Yangjae-dong were transferred into Seongdong district; while parts of Junggok-dong were transferred into Myeonmok-dong, Dongdaemun-gu and vice versa. Songpa Unjoo Local Office closed and was reinstated as Cheonho Yeongdong Local Office directly under the Seoul Metropolitan City.
||Parts of Sindang1~8-dongs in Sangsangsimni merged into Jung-gu; parts of Oksu-dong into Yongsan-gu; parts of Jangan-dong and Junggok-dong into Dongdaemun-gu; and parts of Dapsip-ri 4-dong, Yongdu-dong and Jangan-dong in Dongdaemun-gu were merged with the new Yongdap-dong. Seongdong district Yeongdong Local Office and Cheonho Local Office were merged into new Gangnam-gu.
||Seongdong district office inauguration (the current Gwangjin-gu Office building).
||Seongdong district divided into 20 dongs and GwangJin-gu into 16 dongs (Legislation No. 4802).
||Launch of construction for the Seongdong Comprehensive Administration Town (the new Seongdong district Office building).
||Office relocation to the Seongdong Comprehensive Administration Town.