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Incheon, officially the Incheon Metropolitan City, is South Koreamarker's third largest metropolis, after Seoulmarker and Busanmarker. As the largest seaport on the west coast and home to the country's largest airport, Incheon International Airportmarker, Incheon is South Korea's most important transport hub. In the 21st century, Incheon has transformed into a global business hub centered around the high-tech and futuristic New Songdo Citymarker, which is home to South Korea's tallest building, the Northeast Asia Trade Tower.

Human settlement at the location goes back to the Neolithic. In modern times Incheon became important because its location on an estuary made it a good harbor; when the port was founded in 1883, the city, called Jemulpo at the time (hangul: , hanja: , had a population of only 4,700. Incheon is now home to over 2.5 million people and under the control of one of the two free economic zone authorities in Korea, aimed at attracting foreign investment; the city aims to turn itself into a financial and corporate hub along with the Busanmarker-Jinhaemarker Free Economic Zone Authority.

Incheon is regarded as part of the greater Seoul metropolitan area due to part of it bordering the capital, and the fact that the Seoul Metropolitan Subway and the Incheon Subway systems are linked. Incheon is, however, a major city in its own right and is a separate jurisdiction from Seoul.

History

The first historical record of the Incheon area dates back to 475 A.D. during the reign of King Jangsu of Goguryeo by the name of Michuhol. The area underwent several name changes with successive kingdoms and dynasties. The current name was established in 1413 A.D. during the reign of King Taejong of Joseon. The name Jemulpo was not widely used until the opening of the port in 1883.

On September 15, 1950, during the Korean War, Incheon was the site of the Battle of Incheonmarker, when United Statesmarker troops landed to relieve pressure on the Pusan Perimeter and to launch a United Nations offensive northward. The USS Inchon (MCS-12) was named after the tide-turning battle that ensued.

Incheon was originally part of Gyeonggi Provincemarker, but was granted Directly Governed (now Metropolitan) City status on July 1, 1981.

Incheon was known as Inchon prior to South Korea's adoption of a new Romanization system in 2000.

Climate

Incheon has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dwa). Incheon's climate is about average compared to the rest of Korea, with 8 locations being cooler and 10 locations being warmer, and with 9 locations being wetter and 9 locations being drier.

Incheon experiences each of its four seasons, distinctly feeling the rise and fall of temperature and humidity. The temperature however, never rises to an extreme, and the climate of the city is essentially mild. Incheon is swept by the seasonal winds as the northwesterly winds strike the city in the winter and the summer in Incheon is affected by gusts of the warm southwesterly winds.






Major events

Incheon will host a series of major international events. The Global Fair & Festival 2009 Incheon, Korea will be held in the Songdo District in August 2009. It will open on August 7 and run through October 25 for a period of 80 days. It is a comprehensive international event with global institutions and corporations as participants.

Incheon has also won the bid to host the Asian Games in 2014.

Education

On February 27, 2007, Incheon declared itself an "English City," and inaugurated the "Incheon Free English Zone" program. The goal of the program is to make Incheon as much an English speaking city as Hong Kongmarker and Singaporemarker are. This is for the ultimate purpose of establishing Incheon as a commercial and business hub of northeast Asia (see Free Economic Zone below). The official slogan of the program is "Smile with English."

Higher education

Incheon is home to several colleges and universities:

Sports

Incheon is home to the following professional and semi professional sports teams:

Baseball

The KBO team SK Wyverns.

Basketball

The KBL team Incheon ET Land Blackslamers.

Football (Soccer)

K-League team Incheon United.

The National League team Incheon Korail.

Munhak Sports Complex

The Munahk Sports Complex houses both a football stadiummarker and a baseball stadiummarker. The football stadium was Incheon's venue for the 2002 Football World Cup, and is also the home venue for Incheon United. The baseball stadium is the home venue for the SK Wyverns.

On April 19, 2007, Incheon was selected as the host city for the 2014 Asian Games, beating out New Delhimarker.

Transportation

Incheon is a major domestic and international transportation hub for Korea.
View of the station at Incheon International Airport.

Air

Incheon International Airportmarker, a regional air hub, is South Korea's primary international airport.

There were a total of 160,843 flights (157,134 international, 3,709 domestic) to and from Incheon International Airport in 2005, an average of 441 flights (431 international, 10 domestic) daily. 59.7% of the flights were serviced by Korea’s two national carriers, Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, with foreign carriers servicing the remaining 40.3%, which breaks down as follows: China 45,125 flights {28.1% of total}, Japan 32,352 {20.1%}, Southeast Asia 30,567 {19%}, Americas 27,916 {17.4%}, Europe 11,082 {6.9%}, Domestic 3,709 {2.3%}, Oceania 2,811 {1.7%}, others 7,281 {4.5%}.

Sea

Incheon's sea port is the second largest port in Korea after Busanmarker's sea port.

The International Passenger Terminal located at the port offers ferries to four cities in Chinamarker: Dalian, Qingdaomarker, Tianjinmarker, and Weihai. There are also ferries to Incheon's outlying islands as well as Baengnyeong Islandmarker inside of the Northern Limit Line.

Buses

Incheon Bus Terminal, located at its eponymous subway stop, offers express bus transportation to all parts of Korea. Many city bus lines offer transportation within city limits as well as to the neighboring cities of Bucheonmarker, Gimpomarker, Seoulmarker, and Siheungmarker.

Many BRT lines offer transportation between Seoul and Incheon.

Train

Local service to Guromarker, Seoulmarker, Cheongnyangnimarker, Uijeongbumarker and Soyosanmarker is offered by Seoul's subway Line 1. The line has 11 stations within Incheon and connects to the Incheon Subway at Bupyeong station.

Rapid service on the same line to Yongsan Stationmarker in Seoul depart from Dongincheon station and stops at major stations.

The Airport Express (AREX) line was opened between Gimpo Airport and Incheon International Airport in March 2007. The line has 6 stations on of track and is operated by Airport Railroad Corporation. It connects to the Incheon Subway at Gyeyang station and Seoul Metropolitan Subway at Gimpo Airport station. It will be extended to Seoul station by December 2010. The extended line has 4 stations on , and the existing line will have 3 more stations.

Subway

The Incheon Subway has a single subway line serving the city. It connects to the Seoul Metropolitan Subway system at Bupyeong station, and AREX line at Gyeyang station. The line has 28 stations on 29.4 km of track. The Incheon subway is operated by the Incheon Rapid Transit Corporation (IRTC).

Extensions and additions are planned: IRTC has a plan to construct a second line, Line 2. It will extend from Oryu, Seo-gu to Incheon Grand Park, and will have 27 stations on 29.2 km of track. Line 2 is under construction from June 26, 2009 to 2014.Korail is constructing a new subway line from Incheon station to Suwon station by 2013. It will have 10 stations within Incheon.SMRT (one of three operating companies of Seoul Metropolitan Subway) also has to extend Seoul Metropolitan Subway Line 7 to Bupyeong-gu office by 2011 and provide transfers to the Incheon Subway system. It will have 3 stations within Incheon including the Bupyeong-gu office station.

Free Economic Zone

The Incheon Free Economic Zone consists of the three regions of Songdomarker, Cheongna, and the island of Yeongjongmarker, and has a total area of . The goal of IFEZ is to transform these three areas into hubs for logistics, international business, leisure, and tourism for the Northeast Asian region. The term 'Free Economic Zone' applies to the development in these three areas with the aim of improving the business environment for foreign-invested enterprises and the living conditions for foreigners. The zone is a specially designated area to create the most favorable business and living environment where foreign nationals can live and invest freely and conveniently. Incheon's Free Economic Zone, the first in Korea, was officially designated by the Korean government in August 2003. IFEZ is planned to be a self-contained living and business district featuring air and sea transportation, a logistics complex, an international business center, financial services, residences, schools and hospitals, and shopping and entertainment centres.

New Songdo City

Songdo International citymarker began development in 1994 and is being built on reclaimed land. It is designated to become a center of diverse international businesses, a hub for international trade, an area for knowledge-based technologies, and a place for eco-friendly urban living.

  • Development size: 13,162 ares
  • Planned population: 252,000 persons
  • Construction duration: 1994~2020


Yeongjong Island

Yeongjong International Citymarker’s centering on the Incheon International Airport will be developed as an eco-friendly airport city by 2020. It will be a functional city with residential amenities for airport staff and visitors, as well as logistics, commercial and distribution facilities. Yeongjong will provide an optimal environment for logistic, tourism and leisure in conjunction with the Incheon International Airport.


  • Development size:
  • Planned population: 144,800 persons
  • Duration: 2002~2016


Cheongna

The Cheongna district, on the mainland adjacent Yeongjong Island, will focus on entertainment and will feature a world class theme park. It will also be a residential area with sports facilities, a floriculture complex, and a business area specially designed for international finance.

  • Development Size:
  • Planned population: 90,000 persons
  • Duration: 2004~2008


Administrative divisions

Administrative divisions of Incheon.
Incheon is divided into 8 wards ("gu") and 2 counties ("gun").



Points of interest

Bupyeong Station is where the Seoul Subway Line 1 and Incheon subway line intersect. There is a large under ground shopping center there mostly selling trendy women's clothing and cell phones. Above ground, there are many restaurants, additional shops, and a Lotte Mart.

A number of Korea's western islands, including Ganghwa Islandmarker, Yeongjong Islandmarker, and Baengnyeong Islandmarker are also administered by Incheon. Baengnyeong Island is South Korea's westernmost point.

Jayu (Freedom) Park- The statue of General MacArthur, Douglas MacArthur, as well as a memorial to the centennial anniversary of U.S. and Korea relations is located within.

Chinatown is Korea's only official Chinatown, located across from Incheon Station near Jayu Park.

Wolmido- Location of Green Beach, one of the landing sites for MacArthur's invasion force. It is now a local tourist attraction with a boardwalk, an amusement park and many raw fish restaurants. Ferries run from Wolmido to Yeongjongdo and Jakyakdo.

Jakyakdo- A tiny island located in the harbor close between Wolmido and Yeongjongdo. There are many walkways and picnic spots, a restaurant, and seasonal rental rooms.

Incheon Landing Operation Memorial Hall- A plaza and small museum dedicated to the Landing. Weapons and artifacts from the war and operation are displayed.

Incheon Dohobu Cheongsa- Located nearby Munhak Stadium, this is the old government complex for Incheon. It has existed since at least the reign of King Sejong, about 1424 A.D.

Incheon's government has many plans for restoring Incheon's old town.

Image:Korea-us100.jpg|Monument to 100 years of friendship between Korea and the USA in Jayu Park.Image:Jayumacarthur.jpg|The statue of MacArthur at Jayu Park.Image:Jayuwalkway.jpg|A walkway in Jayu Park.Image:Incheon-port.jpg|Port of IncheonImage:IncheonRapidTransitCorporation-train-1009.jpg|Incheon MRT Line 1Image:Incheon Skyline.jpg|New Songdo City's SkylineImage:Jakyakdo.jpg|The tiny island of Jakyakdo.Image:Incheon International Airport-2.jpg|Arial view of Incheon International Airport


People from Incheon






Sister cities






Big cities of South Korea






See also






References





External links






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