The history of ancient kingdom and the life of modernity coexist in Downtown Area. All over the zone are palaces, ancient tombs, temple sites, and temples, and this is where visitors can come in contact with myths and fables of the progenitors of the Silla Kingdom, Park Hyeogeose, Seok Talhae, and Kim Alji. As the center and the starting point to understand the 1,000-year-old history of Silla, the Downtown Zone includes Wolseong Site, Daereungwon Site, and Hwangryongsa Site among Gyeongju Historic Sites designated as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2000.
Surrounding the artificial Bomunho Lake is Bumun Tourist Complex covering total area of 8510,000㎡. With stunning natural landscape, luxury hotels and condominiums, golf course, theme park, and amusement facilities, this comprehensive leisure and tourism complex includes Sanseong Area among Gyeongju Historic Sites designated as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2000.
Of the Five Sacred Mountains (五岳) of Silla (Mount Toham of the East, Mount Gyeoryong of the West, Mount Jiri of the South, and Mount Taebaek of the North and Mount Palgong of the Center), Bulguksa Area includes Mount Toham of the East, which was designated as Patriotic (護國) Guardian Mountain (鎭山). Through Bulgulksa Temple and Seokguram Grotto, which were designated as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1995, visitors can feel the cultural of the Unified Silla Kingdom.
From Najeong Well where Silla’s progenitor Park Heokgeose was born to the Poseokjeong site, which symbolically shows the fall of the Silla Kingdom, the beginning and end of Silla history remained intact in this area. With over 150 temple sites, some 120 stone Buddha statues, and 96 stone pagodas, the Namsan area presents the best compressed version of the Silla culture, and it is one of Gyeongju Historic Sites designated as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2000.
The area is best-known for the Underwater Tomb of King Munmu symbolizing the king’s patriotic will; according to legend, he said his spirit would take the shape of a dragon to protect his country after his death. Along with other historic sites including Gaeumsa Temple Site, Golgulsa Temple, and Girimsa Temple, Donghae Area along the East Coast comes with a variety of sports and leisure areas like beach, auto campgrounds, and Padosori-gil Coast Trail.
Imbued with the spirit of Hwarang Knights, which became the basis of Unification of the Three Kingdoms, this area includes the Tomb of King Muyeol and Mount Danseok where the Great Hero and General of Silla Kingdom Kim Yu-sin disciplined himself when he was 17. In addition, there are noted tourist attractions like the birthplace of celebrated poet Park Mog-wol, a native of Gyeongju, Buyongji Pond as the habitat of lotus flowers, and Geumjangdae Pavilion with the best view in Gyeongju.
Bukbu Area in the north has been a sacred place of Buddhism and Cheondogyo, a 20th-century Korean religious movement, as well as Confucian culture throughout Korean history from the Silla Kingdom to the Goryeo Dynasty to the Joseon Dynasty. There are Yongdamjeong Pavilion, the cradle of the Donghak Revolution of the 19th century, and Yangdong Village, Korea’s largest traditional village of living Confucian culture. Yangdong Folk Village in particular was designated as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2010, along with Andong Hahoe Folk Village in Andong in North Gyeongsang Province.