Hwaseong Fortress is designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site since 1997, but I hadn’ t been visiting this briljant castle until early spring 2010. Since this place is only half an hour from my parents in law I had the chance the visit this beautiful fortress more than once.
Hwaseong Fortress is located in Suwon, the capital city of Gyonggi province, about 30 kilometers from Seoul. This impressive fortress was built at the end of the 18th century (from 1794 to 1796) under King Jeongjo.
The Fortress exists of a 5.74 kilometers long wall, between 4 and 6 meters heigh, and four gates. The Suwoncheon, the main stream in Suwon, flows through the centre of the fortress.
It is said that this castle was built with the latest scientific knowledge, containing originally 48 structures along the wall. Seven have been lost, some to flooding and others during the Korean War. Documents holding the “Records of Hwaseong Fortress Construction”, published in 1800, proved invaluable for the renovation that started in 1970.
The fortress today features a floodgate, secret gates, guard platforms, observation towers, command posts, archers’ platforms, firearms bastions, sentry posts, pavilions, a beacon tower and turrets.
At the fortress you can experience the art of Korean archery and fans of Martial Arts can enjoy the daily performance of the I Ship Sa Ban, or 24 martial arts practiced during Jeoseon Dynasty.
The location of the fortress was used in many historical movies. So Hwaseong Fortress is absolutely a must see on your Korea journey ! Just take your time to enjoy all the beauty of this briljant castle.