An early 20th century trading card from Germany, using an alternate spelling of Seoul, with "ö" for "eo".
Seoul has been known in the past by the successive names Wiryeseong (Hangul: 위례성; Hanja: 慰禮城, Baekje era), Namgyeong (남경; 南京, Goryeo era), Hanseong (한성; 漢城, Joseon era) or Hanyang (한양; 漢陽). During the period of Japanese occupation (1910–1945), Seoul was named to the JapaneseKeijō (けいじょう or 京城) or Gyeongseong (경성; 京城) in Korean. Its current name is Seoul, and this name has been in use since at least 1882, at times concurrently with other names.
Seoul is a rendering of the Korean word “seo'ul” (서울), pronounced [səˈul]. An etymological hypothesis presumes that the origin of the native word “seo'ul” derives from the native name Seorabeol (Hangul: 서라벌; Hanja: 徐羅伐), which originally referred to Gyeongju, the capital of Silla, then called Geumseong (금성; 金城).