(경주) was the capital
of the Silla Kingdom, a dynasty that flourished for almost one thousand years
of Korea’s proud five thousand year
history. The Silla (신라) Kingdom was originally established in the southern area of modern-day
Korea, but eventually spread as it banded together with neighboring states and
became known as «Unified Silla». The Silla Dynasty was one of the most developed civilizations in the
world during that time period. People came from far away lands to trade with
the Silla people, many even settling in the area. Silla was said to be a land
of extravagance and forward thinking.
One of the most unique features of the Silla
Kingdom is that it had not one, but
three female rulers, the only female rulers in the history of Korea. Like
most other kingdoms, the crown was usually passed down to the firstborn son of the
noble bloodline. Theory has it that the lack of a male heir led to the
appointment of a female leader. In this way, the Silla Kingdom
was truly ahead of its time.
well known of Silla’s three queens was Queen Seondeok,
whose life was turned into a smash hit TV series titled ‘Queen Seondeok of Silla’ (선덕여왕), airing in 2009. The show sparked interest in
the Queen's life, as well as in Gyeongju as a hot tourist destination. In fact,
with 1000 years of history and a myriad of tombs and ancient relics scattered
throughout, it is no wonder that the city is known as a ‘living museum.’ Unearth the mysteries of the life
of Queen Seondeok and discover the heart of the Silla Dynasty with a visit to
Gyeongju, a city studded with historical gems.