Famous for its sweet and juicy apples and textile industry, Daegu has been the country’s major retail center for medicinal herbs for several centuries. Woobang Tower Land, an amusement theme park, and Mt. Palgongsan which houses Buddhist temples attract many tourists.
Daegu or Taegu is the 3rd largest city in South Korea (after Seoul and Busan). It is officially called Daegu Metropolitan City. The city is located in North Gyeongsang province and is the capital of the province. Its geographical location is 35°52′N 128°36′E
Historical documents show that as early as 261 the city was recognized as Dalgubeol, and the city was given its current name in 757. In 1601, Daegu became the administrative capital of the former Gyeongsang province, and the city has been the capital of North Gyeongsang province since that province’s formation in 1896. It’s the capital of the province today. In the 1980s, Daegu became a separately administered provincial-level Directly Governed City (Jikhalsi), and was redesignated as a Metropolitan City (Gwangyeoksi) in 1995.
Daegu is the largest city in the North Gyeongsang region. During the Joseon Dynasty, the city was the administrative, economic and cultural centre of the entire Gyeongsang region, a role largely taken over now by Busan in South Gyeongsang.
During the Korean War, much heavy fighting occurred nearby along the Nakdong River. Daegu sat inside the Busan Perimeter, however, and therefore remained in South Korean hands throughout the war. After the war the city underwent explosive growth, and the population has increased more than tenfold since.
On February 18, 2003, a mentally ill man set fire to a train of the Daegu Metropolitan Subway stopped at Jungangno station. The resulting blaze killed nearly 200 persons, making the Daegu subway fire one of the worst disasters in South Korea since the end of the Korean War.
Today, Daegu is the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Korea with respect to both population and commerce.
Traditionally, people from Daegu have been seen as conservative, modest, hard working, and patient. The women are known as particularly strong willed and beautiful.
Daegu is known as the home of Korean baseball. Before the advent of the professional leagues, its high school teams were avidly followed. The city was a co-host of the 2002 World Cup soccer game. A new football stadium was built for the event.
Traditionally Buddhism was strong, today there are still lots of temples. Confucianism was popular in Daegu, with a large academy based in the city. Christianity has gained its ground, and churches make up one of its cityscape today.
Because of the city’s rapid growth, the architecture is generally functional but uninspiring. Some exceptions do exist in older buildings, and in some of the newest, such as the dongdaegu station, and the Exco building.
Daegu’s population is quite homogeneous with few immigrants. A number of immigrants from South and Southeast Asia work in automotive-parts factories on the city’s west side. In addition, there is a small group of English-speaking Westerners working in the many English schools. The American military bases are also home to several thousand Americans. As elsewhere in Korea, Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Western food is most common but recently Indian/Pakistani and Russian foods have become available.