Suncheon | South Korea

Suncheon (Korean pronunciation: [sun.tɕʰʌn]) (Suncheon-si) is a city in South Jeolla Province, South Korea. It is a scenic agricultural and industrial city of around 250,000 people near Suncheon Bay. It is located in the southeastern corner of Jeollanam-do, just over an hour south-east of Gwangju. Forty minutes south of Suncheon is the port city of Yeosu, and twenty minutes to the east of Suncheon is Gwangyang. It is currently experiencing strong development due to being included as part of the Gwangyang Bay Free Economic Zone, one of three newly created Free Economic Zones (FEZs) in South Korea due to open within the next decade. As of October 14, 2007 plans are being set up and a referendum is being planned for a merging of the cities of Yeosu, Suncheon and Gwangyang into a new metropolitan city, taking advantage of the Gwangyang Bay Free Economic Zone, Yeosu's Expo 2012 bid and port facilities, Suncheon's educational institutes and Gwangyang's POSCO plant.

Songgwang Temple: It is one of the Three Jewel Temples of Korea and a popular place for Jinul. The temple is located in Sinpyeong-ri, Songgwang-myeon. It is one of the Sambosachal along with Haein temple of Habcheon and Tongdo Temple of Yangsan. Jinul strived here to renew the tradition of Buddhism 800 years ago. The temple bore 16 state monks in the past. Today, the temple is home for monks from overseas and is a place to study the Buddhist culture of Korea. The temple was first built at the end of Silla Kingdom and named Gilsang Temple. It was then renamed in the Goryeo dynasty under the reign of Myeongjong, to Songgwang Temple. Reconstructions were done after it was burnt down in the Joseon dynasty, but was severely damaged again in 1948 and 1951. At present, 33 complexes have been restored after 8 reconstruction projects from 1984 to 1988. The temple has a total of 26 cultural assets, including 17 national cultural assets and 9 local ones.
Seonamsa: Seonamsa of Mount Jogye is located in Jukak-ri, Seungju-eup, Suncheon. In the Baekje Kingdom, Adohwasang had first built a small temple in the mountain and named it Biroam of Cheongnyangsan Mountain. The temple was named Seonamsa later in the Silla Kingdom by state monk Doseon. Seonamsa is known to be a mixture of the various sects of Buddhism of the Goryeo dynasty. Cheontaejong was established here 900 years ago by Ui Cheon and the monk's heirs have been carried down to the present age. Seonamsa, like Songgwangsa, is a library for studies of Korean Buddhist culture. A total of 18 cultural assets are found here, including 7 treasures and 11 local cultural assets.

South Jeolla Province or Jeollanam-do (Korean pronunciation: [tɕʌl.la.nam.do]) is a province in the southwest of South Korea. The province was formed in 1896 from the southern half of the former Jeolla province, remained a province of Korea until the country's division in 1945, then became part of South Korea. Gwangju was the capital of the province, until the provincial office moved to the southern village of Namak, Muan County in 2005.

The province is part of the Honam region, and is bounded on the west by the Yellow Sea, on the north by Jeollabuk-do Province, on the south by Jeju Strait, and on the east by Gyeongsangnam-do.

There are almost 2,000 islands along the coastline, about three quarters of which are uninhabited. The coastline is about 6,100 kilometres (3,800 mi) long. Some of the marine products, in particular oyster and seaweed cultivation, are leading in South Korea.

The province is only partially mountainous. The plains along the rivers Seomjin, Yeongsan and Tamjin create a large granary. There is abundant rainfall in the area, which helps agriculture. The province is also home to the warmest weather on the peninsula. This helps to produce large amounts of agricultural produce, mainly rice, wheat, barley, pulses and potatoes. Vegetables, cotton and fruits are also grown in the province.

Jeolla Province (Hangul: 전라도; RR: Jeollado, [tɕʌl.la.do]) was a province in southwestern Korea, one of the historical Eight Provinces of Korea during the Kingdom of Joseon. It consisted of the modern South Korean provinces of North Jeolla Province, South Jeolla Province and Gwangju Metropolitan City as well as Jeju Province. The provincial capital was Jeonju, the current capital of Northern Jeolla. The entire inland region is called Honam ("South of the Lake"), which is still commonly used.

In 1413, during 13th year of the right of Taejong of Joseon, the territories were, once again, reorganized into 8 do. This is the era of the historic Eight Provinces. Jeollajudo was variously known as Gwangnam, Jeongwang, and Jeonnam, but the original name persisted, and was eventually shortened to simply Jeollado (hanja: 全羅道).

The Donghak Peasant Revolution of 1894-95 began in Jeollado, which was a peasant revolt fueled by the fervor of a coming local "messiah" and protests over Seoul's high taxes on rice and increasing number of Japanese traders in Joseon. They had anti-Japanese sentiments due to the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598).

On May 26, 1895, Gojong of Korea replaced the 8 do system with a 23 bu "district" system and Jeolla was replaced by the districts of Jeonju (Hangul: 전주부; Hanja: 全州府; RR: Jeonjubu) in the northwest, Naju (Hangul: 나주부; Hanja: 羅州府; RR: Najubu) in the southwest, Namwon (Hangul: 남원부; Hanja: 南原府; RR: Namwonbu) in the east, and Jeju (Hangul: 제주부; Hanja: 濟州府; RR: Jejubu) on Jejudo.

On August 4, 1896, Emperor Gojong issued Royal Order 36, repealing the district system and restoring the province system. Jeolla, along with Chungcheong Province, Gyeongsang Province, Hamgyong Province and Pyongan Province, were divided north-south into North Jeolla Province and South Jeolla Province, bringing the total to 13 provinces. North Jeolla consisted of the Jeonju and northern Namwon districts, while South Jeolla consisted of the southern Namwon districts, Naju district, and Jeju island. Jeonju was retained as the capital of North Jeolla, with Gwangju being made the capital of South Jeolla. The capital of South Jeolla was later changed to Namak, South Korea in 2005, with Gwangju designated a Special City.

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