Gwangju (광주 - 光州) is a city in Jeollanamdo (전라남도 - 全羅南道) in South Korea of which it is the capital. It is a designated special city (특별시) under the direct control of the home minister.
The city has been established a long time ago and has been a centre of trade ever since. It was the administrative centre of the Three Kingdoms of Korea around 57 BC.
With the construction of a railway to Seoul in 1914 modern industry was established. This includes cotton textiles, rice mills and breweries. With the construction of a designated industrial zone in 1967 industry in Kwangju grew markedly, especially owing to the automobile industry.
In May 18, 1980, citizens of Gwangju and nearby cities fought, protested against the Autocracy government of Chun Doo Hwan for Democracy.This incident was called the "Gwangju Massacre","Gwangju Democratic Movement". The suppression of which caused at least 140 civilian deaths.
Chosun University was established in 1946 and there are several colleges in the city. There are several old temples in and around the city.