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The name Gwangjin-gu came from "Gwangnaru" which was also called "Neobuennaru" because there was a Naruteo (ferry) at the wide point of the Han river near the Gwangjin bridge in now Gwangjang-dong.

Since the Neolithic era, people have lived in the region of Gwangjin-gu, and since the Three Kingdoms where Goguryeo, Baekje and Silla competed against each other it has appeared in our history. From when King Jangsoo of Goguryeo took over the capital of Baekje, Uiryeseong, to when King Mooyeol of Silla unified the Korean peninsula in 675, for about 260 years, this area was the strategically important place where the three kingdoms fought over with their country's destiny on the line.

It was called Yangjoo from the time of the first King to King Jeongjong of Goryeo, Namgyeong from the time of King Moonjong to King Choongryeol, and Hanyangboo from the time of King Choongseon till the end of Goryeo. At the time each region was ruled by a powerful local family, but Yangjoo region did not have a specific power family and became a territory directly ruled by the King since the first King, Wangeon, took over the area. In Chosun era, the region of Gwangjin-gu belonged to Goyangju-myun, Yangju-gun, Gyeonggi-do. This area had a grazing land for horses for national army and the King often came to this place to watch military training in progress.

During the Japanese occupation, it belonged to Ttukdo-myeon, Goyang-gun, Gyeonggi-do, and after the independence, it was included in the City of Seoul with the installation of a Ttukdo branch office on August 13, 1949.

On January 11, 1968, the Ttukdo branch office closed and was included under Seongdong-gu legal jurisdiction. On March 1, 1995, Seongdong-gu was divided into Seongdong-gu and Gwangjin-gu along Joongrang Creek and Dongyi Street. It is comprised of 16 administrative dongs (Joonggok 1,2,3,4-dong, Neung-dong, Guuei 1,2,3-dong, Gwangjang-dong, Jayang 1,2,3-dong, Noyoo 1,2-dong, Hwayang-dong, Goonja-dong), the Area of 17.0417.04km² and the Population of 390,000