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About thirty kilometers from the capital, Suwon is mainly known for its Hwaseong fortress that surrounds the heart of the city.

The city Suwon is remarkable on many levels. First planned town in the world; its structure is similar to that of the cities of St. Petersburg in Russia and Washington DC in the United States. About 9 meters high, 370.000 men, including 18.000 craftsmen worked on its construction for two years and nine months. The imposing Hwaseong fortress that surrounds the city shows that it was a major military site, built between 1794 and 1796 by Jeong Yak-Yong, under the orders of King Jeongjo to honor and house the remains of his father, Prince Sado.

Hwaseong Fortress has the distinction of mixing Eastern and Western styles of the time. And mobilized the largest Korean brains of the time. But mostly it is a direct result of the movement Silhak ” practical learning “, which emphasizes science and industrial aspect in the construction of the building. Hence the distinctive character of this fortress that is reminiscent of some castles of West. Hwaseong fortress represents the culmination of the art of fortification in Korea. And therefore entered UNESCO’s world heritage list in 1997. The result is a very innovative and successful construction. With its unusual and advanced structure back in the days, the Hwaseong Fortress required enormous amount of money, likewise manpower. This project was on an unprecedented scale in all Joseon dynasty history background.

Hwaseong fortress

Hwaseong fortress remarkable features

Well damaged, especially during the Korean War, the fortress has been remarkably renovated since. The impressive wall of the Suwon Fortress stretched over 5.7 km and almost entirely restored. The king of the time had the ambition to move the capital in Suwon, but this has not been popular with the political caste. So the city fell behind Seoul. Along this wall, pierced by four gates and equipped with bastions, artillery towers, signal towers, secret doors and many other elements at the forefront of the military art of the time, lies a fascinating historical walk.

As always, there is relief in the city, and in some places, it rises a little. But this is an opportunity to have a beautiful view of the city. From these heights, one can have the chance to see the palace Hwaseong Haenggung. Used by the king when traveling,  this small secondary palace served especially for visiting the grave of his ancestors. It often featured as a filming location of the famous Korean drama Jewel in the Palace. Nearby, there is also a Buddhist temple with an impressive golden statue of Buddha. Also, you can not miss it if you decide to go down to the palace Hwaseong Haenggung.

Usually, you will find Korean roam on the wall with friends or family, picnic on the guard towers, make the kite or try out archery, a very friendly atmosphere quite relaxing. Overall you can enjoy a pleasant stroll without great difficulty with many views on the walls. For those who like to take lots of pictures, prepare yourself!!

 Hwaseong fortress

Check out our tours:

Korean Folk Village and Suwon Fortress Castle Tour
Half Day Suwon Fortress Castle Tour

5D4N Korea Cultural Heritage immersion Tour


Read more about historic places and UNESCO world heritage sites of Korea:

12 Historic places to see during your trip in Korea and  Korea UNESCO world heritage sites : An impressive record


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