History of Seongdong-gu

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 map

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 cultural heritage

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 Painting cultural heritage

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.

Milestones of Seongdong-gu

Milestones of Seongdong-gu - Date, Event info
Date Event
Aug. 29, 1910 Renamed Hanseong-bu to Gyeonseong-bu with five bu’s and eight myeons under Dumo-myeon, Inchang-dong
Apr. 1, 1936 Expanded Gyeongseong-bu to incorporate the region under the jurisdiction of the Dong-bu Local Office
Jun. 10, 1943 Established Seongdong-gu according to the seven-gu system

Seven gu's: Jongno-gu, Jung-gu, Yongsan-gu, Dongdaemun-gu, Seodaemun-gu, Seongdong-gu, and Yeongdeungpo-gu

Aug. 15, 1945 Renamed Gyeongseong-bu to Seoul-si (city)
Sep. 28, 1946 Seoul-si elevated to Seoul Metropolitan City (with nine gu’s)

Served as the basis for District Citizens’ Day

Aug. 13, 1949 Incorporated the entire region of Ttukdo-myeon (Goyang-gun, Gyeonggi-do) into Seoul’s jurisdiction according to the city's expansion; Established Ttukdo Local Offices (in 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, and Myeonmok-ri)
Jan. 1, 1964 Closed Ttukdo Local Offices to incorporate them under the direct jurisdiction of Seongdong-gu
Jul. 1, 1973 Incorporated Jamwon-dong, Seocho-dong, and Yangjae-dong in Yeongdeungpo-gu into Seongdong-gu; Incorporated some parts of Junggok-dong into Myeonmok-dong of Dongdaemun-gu; Incorporated some parts of Myeonmok-dong of Dongdaemun-gu into Junggok-dong of Seongdong-gu; Closed the Songpa-Eonju Local Office and reinstated it as the Cheonho-Yeongdong Local Office under the direct jurisdiction of Seoul Metropolitan City
Oct. 1, 1975 Incorporated some parts of: Sindang 1 to 8-dongs in Sangwangsimni into Jung-gu; Oksu-dong into Yongsan-gu; and Jangan-dong and Junggok-dong into Dongdaemun-gu / Merged: Dapsip-ri je 4-dong, Yongdu-dong and Jangan-dong in Dongdaemun-gu with the new Yongdap-dong; and the Yeongdong Local Office with the Cheonho Local Office in Seongdong-gu to form Gangnam-gu
Mar. 25, 1976 Inauguration of the Seongdong-gu Office (the current Gwangjin-gu Office building)
Mar. 1, 1995 Divided Seongdong-gu into 20 dongs and Gwangjin-gu into 16 dongs (Legislation No. 4802)
Mar. 2, 1995 Relocated the Seongdong-gu Office building (the current Seoul Facilities Corporation Office building)
May 2, 2001 Initiated the construction of the Seongdong Comprehensive Administration Town (the new Seongdong-gu Office building)
May 3, 2004 Relocated the Seongdong-gu Office to Seongdong Comprehensive Administration Town (7 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Korea)
Aug. 11, 2008 Integrated: Wangsimni je 1-dong with Doseon-dong to form Wangsimnidoseon-dong; Geumho 2ga-dong with Geumho 3ga-dong to form Geumho 2,3ga-dong; and Oksu 1-dong with Oksu 2-dong to form Oksu-dong (20 →17 dongs)