Once the political, economic and cultural center of the Silla kingdom (57 BCE – 935 CE), Gyeongju and neighboring areas have more tombs, temples, pagodas and Buddhist rock carvings than any other area in South Korea. Gyeongju traded with the Tang Dynasty in China as well as Japan and others in Southeast Asia.
Gyeongju ruled about two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula at its height between the 7th and 9th centuries and was the fourth largest city in the world at that time. Many archaeological sites and cultural properties from this period remain in the city.
Gyeonju became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.