Theme Week North Korea – Pyongyang

Saturday, 27 March 2021 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
Reading Time:  6 minutes

© flickr.com - uritours.com/cc-by-sa-2.0

© flickr.com – uritours.com/cc-by-sa-2.0

Pyongyang is the capital and largest city of North Korea. Pyongyang is located on the Taedong River about 109 kilometers (68 mi) upstream from its mouth on the Yellow Sea. According to the 2008 population census, it has a population of 3,255,288. Pyongyang is a directly-administered city with equal status to North Korean provinces. Pyongyang is the political, industrial and transport center of North Korea. It is home to North Korea’s major government institutions, as well as the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea. Pyongyang is in the west-central part of North Korea; the city lies on a flat plain about 50 kilometres (31 mi) east of the Korea Bay, an arm of the Yellow Sea. The Taedong River flows southwestward through the city toward the Korea Bay. The Pyongyang plain, where the city is situated, is one of the two large plains on the Western coast of the Korean peninsula, the other being the Chaeryong plain. Both have an area of approximately 500 square kilometers.

Pyongyang is considered one of the oldest cities in Korea. It was the capital of two ancient Korean kingdoms, including Gojoseon and Goguryeo, and served as the secondary capital of Goryeo. Much of the city was destroyed during the First Sino-Japanese War, but it was revived under Japanese rule and became an industrial center. Following the establishment of North Korea in 1948, Pyongyang became its de facto capital. The city was again devastated during the Korean War, but was quickly rebuilt after the war with Soviet assistance.

Central Pyongyang © flickr.com - Laika ac/cc-by-sa-2.0 Arch of Reunification © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/cc-by-sa-3.0 © flickr.com - uritours.com/cc-by-sa-2.0 Arch of Triumph © Gilad rom/cc-by-sa-3.0 Kumsusan Palace of the Sun © flickr.com - Mark Scott Johnson/cc-by-2.0 Mansudae Assembly Hall, seat of the Supreme People's Assembly © flickr.com - Roman Harak/cc-by-sa-2.0 Rungrado May Day Stadium © Gilad Rom/cc-by-2.5 Tomb of King Tongmyeong © flickr.com - Kok Leng Yeo/cc-by-2.0 Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and Ryugyong Hotel © flickr.com - Clay Gilliland/cc-by-sa-2.0 Monument to Party Founding © Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Victorious Fatherland Liberation War Museum and Ryugyong Hotel © flickr.com - Clay Gilliland/cc-by-sa-2.0
After being destroyed during the Korean War, Pyongyang was entirely rebuilt according to Kim Il-sung’s vision, which was to create a capital that would boost morale in the post-war years. The result was a city with wide, tree-lined boulevards and public buildings with terraced landscaping, mosaics and decorated ceilings. Its Russian-style architecture makes it reminiscent of a Siberian city during winter snowfall, although edifices of traditional Korean design somewhat soften this perception. In summer, it is notable for its rivers, willow trees, flowers and parkland. The streets are laid out in a north-south, east-west grid, giving the city an orderly appearance. North Korean designers applied the Swedish experience of self-sufficient urban neighbourhoods throughout the entire country, and Pyongyang is no exception. Its inhabitants are mostly divided into administrative units of 5,000 to 6,000 people (dong). These units all have similar sets of amenities including a food store, a barber shop, a tailor, a public bathhouse, a post office, a clinic, a library and others. Many residents occupy high-rise apartment buildings. One of Kim Il-sung’s priorities while designing Pyongyang was to limit the population. Authorities maintain a restrictive regime of movement into the city, making it atypical of East Asia as it is silent, uncrowded and spacious.

Structures in Pyongyang are divided into three major architectural categories: monuments, buildings with traditional Korean motifs and high-rises. Some of North Korea’s most recognisable landmarks are monuments, like the Juche Tower, the Arch of Triumph and the Mansu Hill Grand Monument. The first of them is a 170-meter (560 ft) granite spire symbolizing the Juche ideology. It was completed in 1982 and contains 25,550 granite blocks, one for each day of Kim Il-sung’s life up to that point. The most prominent building on Pyongyang’s skyline is Ryugyong Hotel, the seventh highest building in the world terms of floor count, the tallest unoccupied building in the world, and one of the tallest hotels in the world. It has yet to open. Pyongyang has a rapidly evolving skyline, dominated by high-rise apartment buildings. A construction boom began with the Changjon Street Apartment Complex, which was completed in 2012. Construction of the complex began after late leader Kim Jong-il described Changjon Street as “pitiful”. Other housing complexes are being upgraded as well, but most are still poorly insulated, and lacking elevators and central heating. An urban renewal program continued under Kim Jong-un’s leadership, with the old apartments of the 1970s and ’80s replaced by taller high rise buildings and leisure parks like the Kaesong Youth Park, as well as renovations of older buildings. In 2018, the city was described as unrecognizable compared to five years before.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on LonelyPlanet.com – Pyongyang, Wikipedia Pyongyang Sports Club, Wikivoyage Pyongyang and Wikipedia Pyongyang. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.






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