Gwangju is one of the largest cities in Korea. It is a designated metropolitan city under the direct control of the central government's Home Minister. The city was also the capital of Jeolla Province until it was split off in 1948.
Gwang (광, Chinese letter: 光) means "light" and Ju (주, Chinese letter: 州) means "province." Areas of scenery along the outskirts of the city gave birth to gasa, a form of Korean classical poetry. Located in the center of the agricultural Jeolla region, the city is also famous for its rich and diverse cuisine.