Korea Guides: Hwaseong Fortress
Hwaseong Fortress 화성
Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon is Suwon's most popular tourist attraction and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The fortress was completed in 1796 by King Jeongjo, the 22nd king of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), in honour of his father Prince Sado, who had been murdered by his own father King Yeongjo in Changgyeonggung Palace.
The design and construction of Hwaseong Fortress harnessed new techniques of fortress constructed copied from contemporary Chinese and Japanese castles.
Visitors can walk most of the 5.7km-long walls and visit the many ornate gates, watchtowers, crossbow platforms, turrets and sentry posts, with good views of the modern city below.
The fortress has four large gates at the four cardinal points: Janganmun (north gate), Paldalmun (south), Hwaseomun (west) and Changnyongmun (east). Janganmun is the largest gate in Korea.
Other notable structures include Hwahongmun (North Floodgate) which has seven arches spanning the Suwoncheon River, Seoammun, (West Secret Gate), the octagonal, brick Seonodae (West Crossbow Platform) and Seobuk Gangnu (North-West Pavilion), a lovely wooden structure with an under-floor heating system.
View of Suwon city and fortress walls and gate
Hwaseong Fortress fortress walls, Suwon, Korea
The area within the fortress walls contains the Hwaseong Haenggung - a temporary or detached palace for the king when he was visiting Suwon from the capital in Seoul. When the king was absent the buildings were used for administration purposes. Built in 1798, there are 22 buildings in the complex consisting of living quarters as well as offices, gates and a shrine.
Access - Getting to Hwaseong Fortress
Take a Seoul subway Line 1 to Suwon, from where Hwaseong Fortress is located to the north east and best reached by bus (#2, #7, #7-2, #8 & #13) or by taxi.