Yeouido

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Yeouido
Yeouido, Seoul.jpg
Korean name
Hangul
Hanja
Revised RomanizationYeouido
McCune–ReischauerYŏŭido

Yeouido (Hangul: 여의도, English: Yoi Island or Yeoui Island) is a large island (or eyot) on the Han River in Seoul, South Korea. It is Seoul's main finance and investment banking district. Its 8.4 square kilometers are home to some 30,988 people.[1] The island is located in the Yeongdeungpo-gu district of Seoul, and largely corresponds to the precinct of Yeouido-dong. The island contains the National Assembly Building, where the National Assembly of South Korea meets, Korea Financial Investment Association, the large Yoido Full Gospel Church, the 63 Building, and the headquarters of LG, Korean Broadcasting System, and the Korea Exchange Center. Due mainly to its importance as a financial district and its central location, Yeouido is home to some of Seoul and South Korea's tallest skyscrapers, including International Finance Center Seoul, Parc1 Tower, the Federation of Korea Industries Tower, as well as the iconic 63 Building.

Etymology[edit]

The name of the island means "You can have it," i.e., "useless". This was because whenever the Han River flooded, only a small patch of high ground remained above water level.

History[edit]

Being a vacant spot convenient to the capital of Joseon, Yeouido was used as a national pasture for sheep and goats according to a 16th-century geographical record.[2] Yeouido remained for the most part an uninhabited sandbar prior to the construction of Seoul's first airport in April 1924.[3] The airport served both international, domestic, and military flights, and was also the site of a flight school.[4] The airport was prone to flooding that made it unusable during the summer rainy season. Gimpo International Airport took over Yeouido's commercial flights in 1958, and Seoul Air Base took over its military functions in 1971.

Starting in the late 1960s, major housing developments were erected on the island, many of which are still in place in 2020.

The six-lane bridge connecting it to the mainland of Yeongdeungpo was built in 1970 as part of Han River development project led by President Park Jung-Hee, after which followed a period of rapid development. Formerly part of Goyang, Yeouido-dong was formed as a separate entity in 1971.[4] In 1975 the new National Assembly Building opened on the western side of the island. In 1983 the 63 building was completed and was the tallest and most well-known building in the country for many years.

Politics[edit]

National Assembly Building with the 63 building in the background (left)

Yeouido is the center of politics in South Korea. The western half of the island dominated by political organisations and their respective buildings. Most prominently, the National Assembly Building is located to the far west of the island. Construction of the building commenced in 1969 and was completed in 1975 and sits atop the site of the former Yeouido airport. Prior to the opening of the National Assembly Building the seat of government was located at the General Government Building which was situated within the grounds of Gyeungbok Palace.

Due to its national importance, the area surrounding the National Assembly Building and its adjoining buildings is home to a significant police presence. Despite this, the grounds are usually open to the public and connect to the Han River Park which surrounds the site on three sides.

Most of the major South Korean political parties including the Democratic Party and the People Power Party maintain their headquarters in Yeouido, close to the National Assembly Building.

Economics[edit]

Yeouido is considered to be the financial center of Seoul, hosting most of the country's largest financial institutions including: Industrial Bank, Kookmin Bank, Korea Stock Exchange and Federation of Korean Industries, Hana Bank, Shinhan Securities, NH Investment Securities, and Eugene Investment Securities. Most of these institutions are clustered on the eastern side of the island, opposite the political quarter on the western side.

Media[edit]

Given the island's political and economic importance, several major media companies have a presence in Yeouido. These include major newspapers such as Kookmin Ilbo and the broadcaster KBS. However, despite previously having a presence on the island, many other companies including SBS and MBC later left Yeouido.

Religion[edit]

Yeouido is home to one of South Korea's largest churches, the Pentecostal Yoido Full Gospel Church. The church was founded in 1958 and currently has over 480,000 members.

Public parks[edit]

Yeouido Han River Park

Five parks are located in Yeouido. Notable among these are the Yeouido district of the Han River Public Park and Yeouido Park. Yeouido Park was formed in 1999 through the reclamation of a patch of land, known as Yeouido Square or May 16 Square, which had lain under asphalt for 27 years and was used for various large public gatherings.[5] In addition, a terminal for excursion ferries stands on the Han River shore.

Unit of area[edit]

The "size of Yeouido" is often used by South Korean media as a means of comparison for measuring an unfamiliar area. For example, it may be said that city A in country Y is twice the size of Yeouido.[citation needed]

Festivals[edit]

  • Cherry Blossom Festival - Every April, the Cherry Blossom Festival is held in the streets of Yeouido.
  • Seoul International Fireworks Festival - On Saturdays of October, the Seoul International Fireworks Festival is held at Hangang Park.

Tallest buildings[edit]

Rank Name Height Floors Years Notes
1 Three IFC Office Tower 279m 55 2012 Tallest building in Yeouido.
2 63 Building 249m 60 1985
3 Federation of Korean Industries Head Office Building 245m 50 2013
4 Conrad Seoul 200m 37 2012
5 One IFC Office Tower 186m 32 2012
6 Two IFC Office Tower 176m 29 2012
7 S-Trenue 154m 36 2009
8 Yeouido Richensia Tower 1 151m 40 2003
8 Yeouido Richensia Tower 2 151m 40 2003
10 LG Twin Towers Tower 1 144m 34 1987
10 LG Twin Towers Tower 2 144m 34 1987

Under Construction[edit]

Name Height Floors Completed Date Notes
Parc1 Tower A 333m 69 2020
Parc1 Tower B 256m 53 2020
Yeouido Post office Reconstruction 150.80m 33 2020

Transportation[edit]

Buses[edit]

There are four colour-coded bus lines that operate in Yeouido:

  • Yellow buses run a circular route on Yeouido only
  • Red buses run different routes all over Yeouido only
  • Green and Blue buses connect Yeouido to numerous other points in Seoul

Bridges[edit]

There are 3 bridges between Yeouido and Mapo: Mapo Bridge, Seogang Bridge, and Wonhyo Bridge.

Subway[edit]

Isolated for centuries, Yeouido is now tightly-connected to the Seoul transportation grid. Seoul Subway Line 5 and Line 9 intersect at Yeouido Station. Line 5 also stops at Yeouinaru Station. Line 9 also stops at Saetgang Station and National Assembly Station.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Figures as of March 2006. "동현황". Yeouido-dong website (Korean). Retrieved 2006-04-16.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ "동유래". Yeouido-dong website (Korean). Retrieved 2006-04-16.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ According to "동현황". Yeouido-dong website (Korean). Retrieved 2006-04-16.[permanent dead link]. However, the Naver Encyclopedia asserts that the airport opened in 1916, and that the homecoming flight of An Chang-nam, the first Korean pilot, landed here in 1922.
  4. ^ a b "동현황". Yeouido-dong website (Korean). Retrieved 2006-04-16.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Yeouido". Tour2Korea.com. Archived from the original on 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2006-04-16.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°31′26″N 126°55′36″E / 37.52389°N 126.92667°E / 37.52389; 126.92667