Introduction to Daegu
Daegu, which was previously pronounced as Taegu until 2000, is the fourth largest city in South Korea based on population. Daegu has a population, as of 2020, of 2,410,000 people. Daegu only trails Seoul, Busan, and Incheon in population. And Daegu means “large hill” in English.
Daegu is surrounded by Gyeongsangbuk-do. And when combined, Daegu-Gyeongsangbuk-do have an overall population of some 5 million people. Daegu is located in the south-east part of the Korean Peninsula. It’s also situated 237 km from Seoul and 88 km from Busan. Daegu sits in a basin and it’s surrounded by mountains. To the north is Mt. Palgongsan (1,193 m) and to the south lies Mt. Biseulsan (1,084 m). There are a series of smaller hills to the east of the city. And Geumho River flows along the northern part of the city towards the eastern borders, emptying into the Nakdong River to the west.
Historically, Daegu belonged to the Jinhan confederacy (1st century B.C. to 4th century A.D.), when it was absorbed by the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). And during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Daegu was the capital of Gyeongsang-do, which was one of the eight traditional provinces.
Economically, Daegu was known for the electronics industry during the 1960’s to 1980’s. Now, Daegu is known as a manufacturing city with the major industries being textiles, metals, and machinery. In total, Daegu is divided into 7 districts, which are known as “gu” in Korean, and 1 county, which is known as a “gun.” As for the weather in Daegu, it’s the warmest region in South Korea thanks to the humid subtropical climate. It averages 1.1 degrees in January and 26.7 degrees in August.
Religiously, and according to a 2015 census, the majority of Daegu citizens are irreligious at 55.8%. The second largest demographic is Buddhism at 23.8% followed by Christianity at 19.7% (Protestants 12% and Catholics at 7.7%).
Because of the proximity of Mt. Palgongsan, there are a number of historic Buddhist temples in Daegu that include Donghwasa Temple, Buinsa Temple, and Pagyesa Temple. And to the south, on Mt. Biseulsan, you’ll find Yongyeonsa Temple and Yugasa Temple. Listed below are even more examples of Buddhist temples in Daegu.