Daejeon is South Korea's fifth largest metropolis. Daejeon had a population of over 1.5 million in 2010. Located in the center of South Korea, Daejeon serves as a hub of transportation and is at the crossroads of major transport routes. The capital Seoul is about 50 minutes by high speed train.
Daejeon serves as an administration hub with the National Government Complex. The Korean administration in the 1980s decided to relocate some of its functions from Seoul, the national capital, to other cities. Currently, 12 national government offices including Korea Customs Service, Small and Medium Business Administration, Public Procurement Service, the National Statistical Office, Military Manpower Administration, Korea Forest Service, Cultural Heritage Administration, Korean Intellectual Property Office as well as Patent Court of Korea are located in Daejeon.
Korail (Korea Railroad Corporation), K-water (Korea Water Resources Corporation) and KOMSCO (Korea Minting & Security Printing Corporation) are also headquartered in the city.d opera "The Golden Cockerel" by Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov. The character has, however, no real relation to the city.
The Daejeon area was historically known as Hanbat (한밭), a native Korean term for "large field", during the Joseon Dynasty. The term "Daejeon" simply means the same thing in Hanja.Historically, Daejeon was a small village without many residents. However in 1905, the Gyeongbu railway began operations from Seoul to Busan, opening a station at Daejeon.
Soon after in 1926 under rule of the Japanese government, the Honam railway was built between Mokpo and Daejeon, transforming the latter into a major transportation hub. Because of its geographical location and proximity to means of transportation, Daejeon grew quickly.In 1932 the capital of Chungnam province was moved from Gongju to Daejeon. During the Korean War the city was the site of an early major battle of the war, the Battle of Taejon.
Central Business District:
The middle of the city or the new central business district called Dunsan is where the effort has manifested itself. Newer apartment complexes, albeit structurally similar to that of the rest of the city, sprung up around the new government structures being constructed concurrently in just a few short years starting from the mid-1990s. Newer municipal buildings including the city's courts and the province's main parliamentary building soon followed.
The result is a several square mile neighbourhood full of restaurants, standard Korean western-type bars and coffee shops. The Dunsan-area is a place for the workers of the new Daejeon to live close to their offices, most able to walk to work, and dine and shop in a new urban environment.
Research and Development:
Daejeon features a technology cluster known as Daedeok Innopolis defined by the national Universities KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) and Chungnam National University and surrounded by government research institutes, government-invested corporate research institutes, corporate research centers and venture companies. When the Boston Consulting Group released recently a list of nations leading in innovation, Korea was ranked number two, just below Singapore.
The research institutes and universities in Daedeok Valley have spun off multiple startups. Korea has invested heavily in building up the research expertise for over thirty years, creating long-term research programs. There are over 7,000 Ph.D researchers in the sciences in Daedeok.Researchers and businessmen work in the fields of telecommunications, nanofabrication, biotechnology, water, nuclear and hydro power, nuclear fusion, design, measurement technologies, mechanical engineering, fuel cells, aeronautics, new materials, robotics, new drugs and environmental technologies. Daedeok Innopolis' membership includes 898 corporations, 35 government invested and sponsored institutions; 6 universities; 15 public organizations.
Parks and Museums:
In 1993 an international exposition (Expo '93) was held at Daejeon. Several landmarks, such as the Hanbit Tower and the Expo Bridge, were built at this time. After the exposition ended, the grounds were refurbished as Expo Science Park. Next to the park is the National Science Museum, which had moved to its current location in 1990.
There are eight popular places for sight seers which are designated by city government. Those Eight Sights are: Sikjangsan (Mt.), Bomunsan (Mt.), Gubongsan (Mt.), Jangtaesan (Mt.), Yuseong Spa, EXPO Park, Daecheonghosu (Lake), and Gyejoksan (Mt.).Most of the cultural centres and sight seeing places are located in Yuseong-gu district with the exception of Ppuri park and Daejeon Zoo.
The Daejeon Museum of Art, located in Dunsan Grand Park, is an art museum focused on the convergence of art and technology. Since it was established in 1998, numerous exhibitions on contemporary art have been held. Another important cultural institution is the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra, which performs in Daejeon Culture & Arts Center and other local venues, and which recently completed several international tours, including visits to the United States and Japan.
Daejeon is a center of transportation in South Korea, where two major expressways, Gyeongbu Expressway and Honam Expressway, and two major railway lines, Gyeongbu railway and Honam railway, are joined. Travel time between Daejeon and Seoul using the KTX high-speed rail system is about 50 minutes. The nearest airport to Daejeon is Cheongju Airport, about a thirty-minute drive north of Daejeon. However, there are also direct bus connections to Incheon International Airport.