Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
|Short Name||Gangwon (Kang-won;|
|Administrative Divisions||10 cities ("Si");|
13 counties ("Gun")
(Yeongseo = western Gangwon;
Yeongdong = eastern Gangwon)
Gangwon was one of the Eight Provinces of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty. The province was formed in 1395, and derived its name from the names of the principal cities of Gangneung (강릉; 江陵) and the provincial capital Wonju (원주; 原州).
In 1896, Korea was redivided into thirteen provinces, and the two districts were merged to re-form Gangwon Province. Although Wonju rejoined Gangwon province, the provincial capital was moved to Chuncheon, where it remains today.
In 1945, Gangwon Province (along with the rest of Korea) was divided by the 38th parallel north in 1945 into American and Soviet zones of occupation in the south and north respectively. In 1948, the southern half of the province became part of the new nation of South Korea. As a result of the Korean War ceasefire of 1953, the boundary between the South and North Korean portions of the province was shifted northward to the Military Demarcation Line. The province's boundaries have remained the same since 1953.
Gangwon is bounded on the west by Gyeonggi province, on the south by the provinces of North Chungcheong and North Gyeongsang, and on the east by the East Sea. To the north lies the province's North Korean counterpart, Kangwŏn province. The province's landscape is dominated by the Taebaek Mountains (Taebaek Sanmaek) which almost reach the sea. As a consequence the coast is steep.
The area of Gangwon is 16,894 km2, of which four fifth are woodland. Edible alpine plants and mushrooms are harvested in these forests. The province is renowned for its agricultural produce, in particular potatoes and fish (cuttlefish and pollock). Mineral resources of the province include iron, coal, fluorite, limestone and tungsten. There are hydroelectric and thermoelectric power plants.
Cities and parks
The main cities in the province are Chuncheon (the provincial capital), Gangneung, Sokcho, Wonju, and Donghae. Seorak-san (mountain; 1,708 m) and Mt. Odae (1,563 m) with its ski run, attract a large number of national tourists. Both are located in national parks in the Taebaek Mountains.
Gangwon and its North Korean counterpart Kangwŏn are together referred to as the Gwandong region. The region west of the Taebaek Mountains is called Yeongseo , while the region east of the mountains is called Yeongdong. The term "Yeongdong" is frequently used in reference to transportation services from Seoul, the national capital. Thus, one might catch a bus or train on the "Yeongdong Line ," or drive to Gangneung on the Yeongdong Expressway .
Gangwon is divided into 7 cities ("Si" or "Shi") and 11 counties ("Gun"). The names below are given in English and Hangul.
- Chuncheon (춘천시, 春川市) - provincial capital
- Donghae (동해시, 東海市)
- Gangneung (강릉시, 江陵市)
- Samcheok (삼척시, 三陟市)
- Sokcho (속초시, 束草市)
- Taebaek (태백시, 太白市)
- Wonju (원주시, 原州市)
- Cheorwon County (철원군, 鐵原郡)
- Goseong County (고성군, 高城郡)
- Hoengseong County (횡성군, 橫城郡)
- Hongcheon County (홍천군, 洪川郡)
- Hwacheon County (화천군, 華川郡)
- Inje County (인제군, 麟蹄郡)
- Jeongseon County (정선군, 旌善郡)
- Pyeongchang County (평창군, 平昌郡)
- Yanggu County (양구군, 楊口郡)
- Yangyang County (양양군, 襄陽郡)
- Yeongwol County (영월군, 寧越郡)
- Gangwon provincial government English-language home page
- Yahoo! Korea encyclopedia article on Gangwon (in Korean)
- Seoul City history article on Hanseong and 22 other late 19th-century districts (in Korean)
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