1. The North Korean Capital You've Never Heard Of
The North Korean capital of Pyongyang is aptly named, as its literal translation is "Flat Land". This is due to the city's location in the flatlands of the Taedong River valley, which is surrounded by mountains on all sides. The city is known for its wide boulevards, monuments, and parks, and is home to many of the country's most important government buildings.
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2. The City of Willows
The city of Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, has a long and storied history. One of its former names, Ryugyong, translates to 'capital of willows', a reference to the abundance of willow trees that once grew in the area. This name was used for centuries, until the city was renamed Pyongyang in the 15th century.
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3. North Korea's Tallest Unopened Building: The Ryugyong Hotel
The Ryugyong Hotel in Pyongyang, North Korea is the tallest building in the country, but has earned the nickname 'Hotel of Doom' due to its 26-year-long construction process. Despite being completed in 2013, the hotel has yet to open its doors to the public, leaving many to speculate about the reasons behind the delay.
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4. "Kumsusan Palace: Home to Multiple Remains"
The Kumsusan Palace of the Sun in Pyongyang is a unique building in that it is the only one in the world to house the remains of multiple people. This mausoleum is dedicated to the former president of North Korea, Kim Il-sung, and his son, Kim Jong-il, and is a symbol of the country's reverence for its leaders. The palace is a grand structure, with a large marble plaza, a bronze statue of the two leaders, and a museum containing artifacts from their lives. It is a popular tourist destination, and a reminder of the importance of the Kim family in North Korean history.
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5. Manually Operated Traffic Lights Keep Pyongyang Safe
In Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, the technology is not as advanced as in other cities, and cars are a rare sight. As a result, the traffic lights in the city are manually operated by traffic controllers, rather than being automated like in most other cities. This means that the traffic controllers must be vigilant in order to ensure the safety of the city's pedestrians and drivers.
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6. The Capital of North Korea
Originally, Seoul was the capital of North Korea, but in 1948, Pyongyang was promoted to the capital. This marked a significant shift in the country's political landscape, as Pyongyang was now the seat of power for the newly formed Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Since then, Pyongyang has become a major political and cultural center, with many important government buildings, monuments, and landmarks located in the city.
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7. Pyongyang's Arch of Triumph is a popular tourist attraction
The city of Pyongyang is home to the impressive Arch of Triumph, a monument modeled after the iconic Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Standing at 60 meters tall, it is the second tallest triumphal arch in the world, only surpassed by the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City. The Arch of Triumph is a popular tourist attraction in Pyongyang, and is a testament to the city's rich history and culture.
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8. Ancient City of Pyongyang Has Long and Storied History
The ancient city of Pyongyang has a long and storied history, with evidence of inhabitants dating back to prehistoric times discovered in a village in 1955. This discovery provides a fascinating glimpse into the city's past, offering insight into the lives of the people who lived there thousands of years ago. Archaeological findings from the site include pottery, stone tools, and other artifacts, providing a unique window into the lives of the city's earliest inhabitants.
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9. 1.2M troops make Pyongyang a heavily militarized city.
The bustling city of Pyongyang is home to an astonishing 1.2 million military personnel, making it one of the most heavily militarized cities in the world. This large military presence is a testament to the city's importance in North Korea, as it serves as the country's political and economic center. Pyongyang is also the site of many important government buildings, monuments, and other landmarks, making it a major tourist destination.
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10. The largest city in North Korea
Pyongyang is the largest city in North Korea, boasting a population of 3,255,388 as of 2008. This bustling metropolis is the political, economic, and cultural center of the country, and is home to a variety of attractions, including the Grand People's Study House, the Arch of Triumph, and the Tower of the Juche Idea. With its vibrant culture and rich history, Pyongyang is a must-see destination for any traveler.