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Gungnae (Korean) or Guonei (Mandarin) City was the capital of the ancient Korean[1] kingdom of Goguryeo, which was located in Manchuria and the Korean Peninsula.[2] The perimeter of its outer fortress measures 2,686m.[3] It is located in present day Ji'an city, Jilin province, northeast China. Because of its historical importance and exceptional architecture, Gungnae was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.[4] It is part of the Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom World Heritage Site, together with nearby Hwando Mountain City and the Onyeosan City, in modern northeast China.

Guonei City
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Corner of Gungnae Fortress (GuoNei Fortress).JPG
LocationJi'an, Jilin, China
Part ofCapital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom
CriteriaCultural: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)(v)
Inscription2004 (28th Session)
Area59.24 ha (146.4 acres)
Coordinates41°8′19.4″N 126°10′34.3″E / 41.138722°N 126.176194°E / 41.138722; 126.176194Coordinates: 41°8′19.4″N 126°10′34.3″E / 41.138722°N 126.176194°E / 41.138722; 126.176194
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese國內城
Simplified Chinese国内城
Korean name
Gungnae is located in Jilin
Location of Gungnae in Jilin
Gungnae is located in China
Gungnae (China)


Gungnae was chosen to become the capital city by the ruler, Yuri during the 10th month of the year 3 AD. The city was sacked several times until the rise of the 19th ruler, Gwanggaeto the Great, who greatly expanded Goguryeo's territory and made it a formidable power in northeast Asia.[5] When King Gwanggaeto died in 413, his son, Jangsu of Goguryeo, inherited the throne and moved the capital down to Pyongyang in 427.[6] The city played a central role of the kingdom after the power transfer.[7]

Just before the fall of Goguryeo, Gungnae City fell to the Silla-Tang Chinese alliance when General Yeon Namsaeng, son of Yeon Gaesomun, surrendered the city in 666.[7] Goguryeo fell in 668[8] when the Tang army captured Pyongyang and took King Bojang and Yeon Namgeon into custody.[9]



  1. ^ Complex of Koguryo Tombs (UNESCO/NHK) (Youtube). UNESCO. 2010.
  2. ^ The Capital City of Koguryo Viewed from the Satellite (enlarged edition) Northeast Asian History Foundation, Retrieved 2015-06-27
  3. ^ (in Korean) "Gungnae Fortress", Naver encyclopedia
  4. ^ "Capital Cities and Tombs of the Ancient Koguryo Kingdom". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Retrieved 10 Apr 2021.
  5. ^ Water Jung, 《Nation building:the geopolitical history of Korea》, University Press of America, 1998. ISBN 0761812733 p.18
  6. ^ Hyon-hui Yi, Song-su Pak, Naehyeon Yun, 《New history of Korea》, Jimoondang, 2005, p.224 ISBN 8988095855
  7. ^ a b Ho-tae Cheon, 《The Dreams of the Living and Hopes of the Dead:Goguryeo Tomb Murals》, Seoul National University Press, 2007. ISBN 8952107292 p.4, p.10
  8. ^ Djun Kil Kim, "This history of Korea, 2nd edition", The greenwood histories of the modern nations, ISBN 1610695828, p.43
  9. ^ Northeast History Foundation, "Journal of Northeast Asian History" Vol.4 1-2. 2007. p.181