Kaesong is located southeast of Pyongyang near the borderline and has a population of around 200,000 residents. However, around 800 years ago it had a population of around four times that. During that time it was the the fabulous capital of the Koryo Dynasty of Korean emperors. The Koryo Dynasty (918-1392 AD) successfully achieved the unfication of the Latter Three Kingdoms. King T'aejo laid the foundation of the dynasty that would last close to five hundred years. During that period of time Kaesong was a wealthy and sophisticated urban metropolis. For many years it was neglected and after three major wars the city was left in rubbles. However, there are still several Buddhist temples and museums in adequate conditions.
The period went through political, social, and cultural changes. Viewed as the transition period between Silla and the Chosôn, its importance is sometimes neglected in summary treatments of Korean history.