Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Revisting Hwaseong Fortress

Last year, in June, I visited the Hwaseong fortress with JH. I recall enjoying the archery and stonework of the fortress walls and forts. Yet I remember that we never really explored the whole place and so I have always had an inkling to go back.

We did just that this last Sunday, which was a good idea since the weather was actually really nice.

We stood in line when we realized it was for buying tickets to raid the "Dragon train." So instead we hit the path and explored the wall area.

As we made are way along the wall we first came to the Dongbuk Gongsimdon. The bricks are laid in a round shape, which apparently was rare for Korea. This style comes from Yodong, province China. This kind of structure was meant as a lookout for soldiers.

Walking along the wall offered a pleasant view of the archery range and tourist center.
The next feature of the wall we came upon was the Dongbuknodae. Meant, of course, as a defensive structure to shoot a catapult. Well there wasn't a catapult inside but it offered interesting views through the openings. 

We kept on walking admiring the sun in our faces and the scenic view, when we came upon the Changnyongmun. This is one of the four main gates, which of course was used for going in and out. 
I liked the steep staircase nearby and marveled at the fact that there was no barrier protecting young children and tipsy adults from falling down.
Inside the gate were painted structures with the usual intricate design motifs found throughout Korean historical sites.

We kept on going but at some point decided to double back and head the other direction. On the way encountering a few good sites.

Here is a better view of Changnyongmun, and you get a sense of how it is meant to be a gate.
As we made our way along the wall, heading NorthWest, I admired the bright blue sky and grassy hills.
We passed by places such as the Bukammun and the Dongbukgangnu.

The Dongbukgangnu is one of the features that has been set up high to monitor the area and give rest to the soldiers. Certainly some visitors took in the "resting" feature by slipping off their shoes and admiring the view.

I liked this architectural detail in the door handle.
From this hill we were able to look down on the Hwahongmun and the stream that passed through it.
When I turned around I liked the site of the grassy hill next to the wall.
The Hwahongmun is a floodgate that offered various functions. Certainly shows how they built this structure over the existing landscape and (I suppose) made harmony with it.

Again I marveled at the fact that there was no barrier to prevent someone from falling over. Although this time there was a complementary sign to warn folks.
We turned around and headed back to the car. But trust me there was still a whole lot more to explore. I suppose I can save the rest of those parts for my next trip. On our way back we enjoyed laying under some trees on one of those grassy hills. It was one of those relaxing moments in the sun.

If you are in the Suwon / Hwaseong region I would highly recommend enjoying this place out as it offers a lot of exercise (by walking) and plenty of different sites to check out.


  1. Ohhh the photos in this post (among many others) are AWESOME!

  2. I agree! I was just there a few weeks ago for the festival. It was nice to venture around the fortress again.

  3. oh, lovely pictues. been wanting to visit the fortress for some time now...


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