Gwangju City is located in central Honam, which is in the southwest area of the Korean Peninsula- the center of Northeast Asia. It borders Damyang County on the northeast, Jangseong County on the north, Hampyeong County on the west, Naju City on to the south and Hwasun County on the southeast. Gwangju is the largest metropolitan city that represents the southwestern region.
Gwangju extends from Nam-gu Seungchon-dong (35˚03´13˝ north latitude) in the south to Sanpo-myeon, Youngsan River to Buk-gu Yongkang-dong (35˚15´22˝ north latitude) in the north. On the east side of Biseonggul, Buk-gu Chunghyo-dong forms the eastern boundary (127˚00´34˝ east longitude) of the city. The city extends 34.3 km from east to west and 23.1 km from north to south. Cities located on similar latitude lines are Busan and Jinhae in Korea, Tokyo in Japan, Jungsen in China, Algiers in Algeria and Oklahoma City in the U.S. Seoul is located on a similar longitude.
Geographically, Gwangju is situated in the north of Jeollanam-do, centered in Honam province, serving as a hub of economy, administration, education and culture, including some parts of Jeonbuk. Surrounding Gwangju, there has been development toward Mokpo going through agricultural areas and towards Wando in terms of the bounty of agricultural products, towards Yeosu extending to Gwangyang international container ports and towards Namwon connecting Yeongnam. Likewise, Gwangju is located in the center of the six directions of the Honam region, providing opportunity for geographical development into the hub of Honam province.
The city is located in the median latitude maritime temperate climate zone. Its climate is somewhere in-between a west coast and continental climate but is more similar to the west coast climate, which means that the city is warm and has sufficient rainfall. Winter is cold and dry, while summer is hot and humid. It has four distinct seasons. Recently, due to climate change, spring and fall have been shorter, presenting characteristics of a semi-tropical climate.
In terms of accessibility, Gwangju is within a day's reach of major cities like Seoul, Incheon, Busan, etc., thanks to an excellent transportation network combining air, railway and express bus lines. The distance to Seoul is 270 km, to Busan 211 km, to Daegu 189 km, and to Jeju 187 km. Gwangju can be reached from all the major cities of Korea within 2-4 hours by air, rail, and expressways.
Historically, Gwangju has been known for its spiritual and cultural heritage, as the "Home of the Righteousness", "Home of the Arts", and "Home of the Tastes". From the Righteous Army Movement in the late Chosun Dynasty and the Student's Independence Movement against Japanese colonial rule, to the May 18 Gwangju Democratic Movement, Gwangju inherits the tradition of democracy, human rights and peace. Also, Gwangju is "Home of the Arts" with many famous artists. The city is now looking forward to becoming the center of Asian culture with world class cultural festivals like Gwangju Biennale and the Design Biennale. Together with this, Gwangju is moving toward becoming a 21st century state-of-the-art industrial zone of Northeast Asia by actively promoting next generation strategic industries like eco-friendly automobiles, new energy, and cultural contents.
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