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Gyeongju (Kyongju), formerly known as Seorabeol or Saro, was the capital of the Silla kingdom of ancient Korea from the 1st century BCE to the 10th century CE. Located in the south-east of the Korean peninsula, at its peak in the 9th century CE Gyeongju boasted 1 million inhabitants and 180,000 homes. The city today still has significant archaeological remains including the Cheomseongdae observatory, Bulguksa temple, Seokguram Grotto, pagodas, and many huge earth-mound royal tombs within which spectacular gold crowns and jewellery pieces have been excavated, fully justifying the capital's other name of Geumseong or 'City of Gold.' Gyeongju is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

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