Seoul is the largest city in South Korea, a very important business hub and an important financial center for this part of the world. Seoul is also the home of impressive architecture which has been preserved for a very long time and which has been lately combined with modern architectural projects. Seoul can offer its visitors and its inhabitants alike a successful combination of the image of the past and that of a futuristic, largely developed city.
The heart of the city, its traditional center is the old Joseon Dynasty city and which is nowadays referred to as the downtown area. Most of the palaces, government buildings and offices as well as corporate headquarters are located in this part of Seoul. Typically, most popular hotels and traditional markets may also be found here. For those interested in the history of Seoul, they should visit the most historically significant street, the Bell Street. Here there is a pavilion containing a large bell which used to signal different times of the day and which controlled the four major gates to the city. Nowadays the bell is only rung in the New Year’s Eve when it is rung for 33 times. Other historical and cultural landmarks of the city include the Amsa-dong Preshistoric Settlement Site and Gangdong-gu which hosts Neolithic remains that were accidentally discovered in 1925. Also, the Five Grand palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty can be seen in the districts of Jongno-gu and Jung-gu.
But the city is also the host of intriguing and impressive modern architecture. Modern landmarks in Seoul include the N Seoul Tower, Korea Finance Building, the World Trade Center, and the Tower Palace, a seven-skyscraper residence. These together with various other high-rise office buildings such as the Jongno Tower or the Seoul Star Tower dominate Seoul’s skyline.