Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hwaseong Fortress

Hwaseong Fortress is an impressive structure from the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and the official fortress of Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do. The fortress (constructed from 1794 to 1796) was built as a show of the King’s filial piety towards his father Jangheonseja and to build a new pioneer city with its own economic power. The fortress wall stretches for a total of 5.52km and has a great variety of military facilities that’s hard to find anywhere else. Four gates face each of the cardinal directions Janganmun (north), Paldalmun (south), Changnyongmun (east), and Hwaseomun (west) and the seven-arch style Sumun gates straddle the point where the nearby stream reaches the palace. Above the Sumun gates is a pavilion called Hwahongmun. Hwaseong Fortress was constructed under the guidance of Yu Hyeong-Won (1622-1673) and Jeong Yak-Yong (1762-1836), and is believed to have been constructed very scientifically. The fortress wall was built using Seokjae and Jeondol (bricks) and the holes between the bricks are just big enough to fire guns, arrows, or long spears through in case of an attack. The fortress was designated as Historical Monument No. 3 in January 1963, and in December 1997, it was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. [Source: Korean Tourism Website]

Ideally the best place to start would be Janganmun, as Paldalmun is in renovation stage. Be prepared to walk for 2 hours if you wish to traverse the entire fortress. There are plenty of places for good photography. The fortress is extremely well maintained and makes for a good evening walk. If your interested in archery you can try your hand at it, at the fortress. Overall a wonderful place to spend time. Best times of visit are the spring and winter seasons.

For more information read : Hwaseong Fortress

Verdict
  • Ease of transportation: 5/5
  • Value for money: 4/5
  • Recommended group size: 4 or more
Here are some pictures

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