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Chuncheon (Hangul: 춘천; Hanja: 春川市; Korean pronunciation: [tɕʰun.tɕʰʌn]; formerly romanized as Chunchŏn; literally spring river) is the capital of Gangwon Province in South Korea. The city lies in the north of the county, located in a basin formed by the Soyang River and Han River. There are some large lakes around the city, most notably Lake Soyang and Lake Uiam (or Dam Uiam). The area is renowned for its small river islands, such as Sangjungdo, Ha-Jungdo, Bungeodo and Wido.

It is a popular destination among east Asian tourists as it was featured in the popular Korean drama Winter Sonata (겨울연가). It is where the resort island of Namiseom is located.

Chuncheon is the hometown of former prime minister Han Seung-soo, football player Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur F.C., famous novelist Kim You-jeong and Olympic champion Jin Jong-oh.

The area now occupied by the city was first settled about 1000 years ago. In 637 AD the city was called Usooju. In 757 AD it was renamed Saku and again in 940 AD as Chunju (춘주, 春州) before receiving its current name in 1413. In 1896, Chuncheon became the capital city of Gangwon province. The city was largely destroyed during the Korean War during the Battle of Chuncheon.

Uiam Dam on the Bukhan River was completed in 1967.[1] In 1995 Chuncheon city was merged with the government of the surrounding Chuncheon county.

The city was historically known as a chicken farming region, and is famous for "dak galbi", which translates as chicken ribs. It consists of chicken, sliced cabbage, sweet potatoes, tteok (rice cakes), and scallions, mixed with a spicy sauce heavy on gochujang. It is usually cooked in a big iron pan in the center of the table, but the original method is over charcoal. Despite the name, the dish is traditionally made from leg meat, not ribs.[3] There is even a street in the city dedicated to restaurants serving the dish, with some 25 restaurants populating the area.[4]

Also, Makguksu noodle is famous among the nation.

Chuncheon is the market center for agricultural produce from the surrounding area. The main products are rice and soybeans. Since the 1960s light industry has become dominant in the city. After the huge success of the TV drama Winter Sonata, the city has also become a major "Korean Wave" (Han-ryu, 한류) tourist destination, attracting visitors from around East Asia.[20]

Legoland Korea is also under construction in Chuncheon. The first Legoland in Northeast Asia, it will be built in a 1.29 square kilometer parcel of land in Jungdo island and is expected to draw over a million tourists when it opens. It will be the largest Legoland in the world. [21]

There are hydroelectric powerplants in the area around Chuncheon. The Soyang Dam is the largest sand gravel dam in East Asia

As of June 2014, there are two train stations in Chuncheon suburban area: the terminus of the Gyeongchun Line, Chuncheon Station, and the busier Namchuncheon Station. Gimyujeong, Baegyang-ri, Gulbongsan and Gangchon Station are located in rural Chuncheon that attracts tourists, especially Gangchon is one of the most favorite recreational destination for University students. This is a double track rapid transit commuter train that connects to massively commuted Yongsan, Cheongnyangni and Sangbong Stations in Seoul. On December 21, 2010, a new realigned twin track electrified line has been constructed, and several new or transferable stations are still being constructed to replace the existing halts in outside Chuncheon, such as Cheonmasan, Sinnae, and Byeollae.

Chuncheon is the northern terminus of the publicly funded Jungang Expressway, and the main destination of the privately run Seoul-Chuncheon Expressway, as also known as Gyeongchun Expressway that connects to Seoul and Hongcheon-east.[24] Chuncheon Bus Terminal connects to all major cities in mainland South Korea.

On National roads-wise, Chuncheon is also the main strategic destination that connects between Changwon to Cheolwon of Route(Number) 5, Incheon to Goseong of 46, and Cheolwon to Yangyang of 56.

South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea (abbreviated ROK), is a sovereign state in East Asia constituting the southern part of the Korean Peninsula.[14] Officially, its territory consists of the whole Korean Peninsula and its adjacent islands,[15] which are largely mountainous. South Koreans lead a distinctive urban lifestyle, as half of them live in high-rises[16] concentrated in the Seoul Capital Area with 25 million residents.[17] The capital Seoul is the world's sixth leading global city[18] with the fifth largest economy[19] and is the seventh most sustainable city in the world.[20]

The earliest neolithic Korean pottery dates to 8000 BC,[21] with three kingdoms flourishing in the 1st century BC. The name Korea is derived from one of them, Goguryeo, which was one of the great powers in East Asia during its time,[22][23][24][25] ruling most of the Korean Peninsula, Manchuria, some parts of the Russian Far East[26] and Inner Mongolia,[27] under Gwanggaeto the Great.[28] Since the unification of the Korean kingdoms into Unified Silla and Balhae in the 7th century, Korea enjoyed over a millennium of relative tranquility under long-lasting dynasties.[29] Koreans developed improved versions of many advanced innovations such as the metal movable type printing press, which used to print and publish the Jikji, the world's oldest extant movable metal type printed paper book in 1377. In the 15th century, Koreans had one of the highest living standards in the world,[30] and Sejong the Great invented Hangul to promote literacy amongst the general Korean population, enabling anyone to easily learn to read and write and transfer written information rather than spend years in learning complicated Hanja.[31] Its rich and vibrant culture left 19 UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritages of Humanity, the third largest in the world, along with 12 World Heritage Sites.

The name Korea derives from the name Goryeo. The name Goryeo itself was first used by the ancient kingdom of Goguryeo in the 5th century as a shortened form of its name. The 10th-century kingdom of Goryeo succeeded Goguryeo,[52][53][54][55] and thus inherited its name, which was pronounced by visiting Persian merchants as "Korea".[56] The modern spelling of Korea first appeared in the late 17th century in the travel writings of the Dutch East India Company's Hendrick Hamel.[57] Despite the coexistence of the spellings Corea and Korea in 19th century publications, some Koreans believe that Imperial Japan, around the time of the Japanese occupation, intentionally standardised the spelling on Korea, making Japan appear first alphabetically.[57][58][59]

After Goryeo was replaced by Joseon in 1392, Joseon became the official name for the entire territory, though it was not universally accepted. The new official name has its origin in the ancient country of Gojoseon (Old Joseon). In 1897, the Joseon dynasty changed the official name of the country from Joseon to Daehan Jeguk (Korean Empire). The name Daehan, which means "great Han" literally, derives from Samhan (Three Hans). However, the name Joseon was still widely used by Koreans to refer to their country, though it was no longer the official name. Under Japanese rule, the two names Han and Joseon coexisted. There were several groups who fought for independence, the most notable being the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea (대한민국 임시정부/大韓民國臨時政府).

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