Seoul is divided in two by the Han River, the southern half known for its business district, the northern half as a focal point for culture and history.
The city has been a capital since the Joseon dynasty 600 years ago and the palace district provides a real contrast with the modern parts of the city. The oldest of six royal palaces is Gyeongbokgung, while unesco-listed Changdeokgung is the best preserved, with an impressive throne room and imposing wooden beams. King Sunjong, the last of Korea's long line of kings, lived in the latter until his death in 1926.
The Jongmyo Shrine, where memorials were held for Joseon dynasty kings and queens is another of the city's interesting historical sites.