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Monday, 4 July 2016

Seoul Gwanak-gu: Hometown of Field Marshal Inheon Kang Gam-chan, Home of Seoul National University Main Campus and Mount Gwanak

Gwanak-gu (Hangul/Hanja: 관악구/冠岳區) is a district located in Southern Seoul Special City, Republic of Korea. The district is bordered with Seoul Dongjak-gu on North, Seoul Seocho-gu on East, Anyang Dongan-gu, Gyeonggi Province on South and Seoul Geumcheon-gu on West. The geography on this area is dominated by Mount Gwanak (632m above sea level), which is the namesake of the district. Seoul Gwanak-gu is a hometown of Field Marshal Inheon Kang Gam-chan, a Goryeo General who saved Korea from Khitan Forces where he was born at Nakseongdae-dong (Bongcheon 7-dong) in December 22nd 948CE. The postal codes of Seoul Gwanak-gu start from 08700 [572~578 Siheung Boulevard/Siheung-daero] to 08866 [72~148 Miseong Drive/Miseong-gil]. The passenger vehicle registration plate code for this district is 01~16 소(SO) 1000~9999.

Seoul Gwanak-gu is densely populated where 513,186 people living in the area of 29.57 km², based on the Korean Republic Census in 2014Originally a part of Siheung County, Gyeonggi Province, it was transferred to Seoul with the rapid expansion of the National Capital Area (Sudogwon-Gijeon Region) due to its population growth and rapid industrialization in 1960s. The area which is dominated by Mount Gwanak was quickly changed the town into a mosaic of dense residential and industrial areas. Partitioned from Yeongdeungpo District and established as a district in 1973, it now neighbors the Seocho, Dongjak, Guro and Geumcheon Districts and exercises jurisdiction about 21 Administrative Precincts under 3 Legal Precincts.

Large slum quarters were formed by migrant populations from all over Korea who sought jobs in industrialized Seoul. A series of redevelopment projects from 1970s, and the relocation of Seoul National University to the district where the Original Campus in YeonGeon-dong, Seoul Jongno-gu was occupied by the Faculty of Medicine of SNU, led to a reduction of slum quarters and indigent textile industries and transformed the town into a residential uptown neighborhood of Seoul. The area is also heavily populated by SNU students from surrounding provinces

Central commercial zones include Seorim-dong, Daehak-dong and Cheongnyong-dong near Seoul National University. These areas also form a large zone of private dormitories and small houses, which primarily target university students and national examination takers (고시생/考試生/gosi-saeng) looking for an environment that is favorable for studying. Restaurants, supermarkets, bars and pubs in the area are centered in Nokdu Alley (Nokdu-geori) in Daehak-dong and near Seoul National University Station. Other commercial zones for residents are located along the Southern Ring Road (남부순환로/南部循環路/NambuSunhwanno)  and two main roads. The main shopping district, the Bongcheon Central Market (봉천중앙시장/奉天中央市場/Bongcheon Jungang Sijang), is located at Jungang-dong, north from Station 228: Seoul National University Station on Seoul Metro Line 2.

The District Office is located at Gwanak-gu District Government Complex, 145 Gwanak Avenue/Gwanak-ro, Cheongnyong-dong [Bongcheon 4(sa)-dong] 1570-1 beonji with its postal code: 08832. The mayor of this district is Yoo Jong-pil (Minjoo Party - as seen on the congratulatory banner after winning the mayoral seat of Seoul Gwanak-gu in 6th Korean Republic Local Elections in 2014). In the other hand, Kim Sung-sik (People's Party) and Oh Shin-hwan (Saenuri) served as the district assemblymen for 20th Session of Gukhoe (2016-2020). Kim Sung-sik represents Seoul Gwanak-gap (1st Electoral District that covers Boramae-dong, Euncheon-dong, Seonghyeon-dong, Jungang-dong, Cheongnim-dong, Haengun-dong, Cheongnyong-dong, Nakseongdae-dong, Inheon-dong, Namhyeon-dong and Sillim-dong), while Oh Shin-hwan represents Seoul Gwanak-eul (2nd Electoral District that covers Sinsa-dong, Jowon-dong, Miseong-dong, NanGok-dong, Nanhyang-dong, Seowon-dong, Sinwon-dong, Seorim-dong, Samseong-dong and Daehak-dong).

Seoul Gwanak-gu has only three legal precincts which are Namhyeon-dong, Sillim-dong and Bongcheon-dong. Namhyeon-dong is a standalone precinct while Sillim-dong and Bongcheon-dong divided into 14 and 12 administrative precincts respectively before 2008. The administrative precincts of Seoul Gwanak-gu was reduced from 27 to 21 in September 1st 2008 and the admin precincts' names within Sillim-dong and Bongcheon-dong are changed as shown on detailed names and administrative map below, in Hangul and Hanja:
  • Namhyeon-dong 
  • Bongcheon-dong
    • Bongcheonbon-dong and Bongcheon 9(gu)-dong = Euncheon-dong
    • Bongcheon 2(i)-dong and Bongcheon 5(o)-dong = Seonghyeon-dong
    • Bongcheon 4(sa)-dong and Bongcheon 8(pal)-dong = Cheongnyong-dong
    • Bongcheon 1(il)-dong = Boramae-dong
    • Bongcheon 3(sam)-dong = Cheongnim-dong
    • Bongcheon 6(nyuk)-dong = Haengun-dong
    • Bongcheon 7(chil)-dong = Nakseongdae-dong
    • Bongcheon 10(sip)-dong = Jungang-dong
    • Bongcheon 11(sibil)-dong = Inheon-dong
  • Sillim-dong
    • Sillimbon-dong = Seowon-dong
    • Sillim 1(il)-dong = Sinwon-dong
    • Sillim 2(i)-dong = Seorim-dong
    • Sillim 3(sam)-dong and Sillim 13(sipsam)-dong = NanGok-dong
    • Sillim 4(sa)-dong = Sinsa-dong
    • Sillim 5(o)-dong = Sillim-dong
    • Sillim 6(nyuk)-dong and Sillim 10(sip)-dong = Samseong-dong
    • Sillim 7(chil)-dong = Nanhyang-dong
    • Sillim 8(pal)-dong = Jowon-dong
    • Sillim 9(gu)-dong = Daehak-dong
    • Sillim 11(sibil)-dong and Sillim 12(sibi)-dong = Miseong-dong