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Exploring Suwon City’s Hwaseong Fortress

Exploring Suwon City’s Hwaseong Fortress

To our surprise, the weather in Suwon City was warm compared to Seoul’s when we visited here last September 2018. Maybe because we arrived in the area at noon time but my constant use of my handkerchief made me think otherwise. Nonetheless, I found Suwon to be more laidback than Seoul.

My interest in visiting Suwon City was focused on its famous landmark which is the Hwaseong Fortress which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There is a minimal fee of KRW 1000 which can be bought at the ticket booth near the entrance. However, for some funny reason, we mindlessly followed a large group of tourists upon entering the fortress. So we were able to enter free of charge (don’t imitate us)! I noticed that unlike in the grand palaces in Seoul, there were no attendants at the time we entered the grounds.

The crowd was manageable and we were able to have ample time taking undisturbed shots in several areas.

Hwaseong Fortress was built by a Joseon King named Jeongjo in the 18th century when he transferred his father’s tomb to Suwon. Upon doing so, he built a defensive structure around it which was laid out according to a leading military architecture.

When the Joseon King Jeongjo moved his father’s tomb to Suwon at the end of the 18th century, he surrounded it with strong defensive works, laid out according to the precepts of an influential military architect of the period, who brought together the latest developments in the field from both East and West. The massive walls, extending for nearly 6 km, still survive; they are pierced by four gates and equipped with bastions, artillery towers and other features.

I was unable to climb atop its walls but with the searing heat we felt, I guess it was okay. Nevertheless, I find Korea’s palaces a breath of fresh air with its large grounds and extended spaces.

How To Get Here
Take Subway Line 1, Alight at Suwon Station. Take Bus no. 13 to take you towards Hwaseong Fortress and alight at Paldalmun Gate.

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