I’ve been in Suwon, South Korea for just over a month now. It’s crazy to think it’s already been a month.
Time really is flying by. Before I know it, I’ll be through my contract.
But today, I want to share with you Suwon’s biggest attraction.
Hwaseong Fortress – an important historical site built in the late 1790s and one of South Korea’s 10 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Brief History of Hwaseong Fortress
In the late 1700s, King Jeongjo ordered the fortress be built, in part to be closer to where his father was buried. The fortress was completed in a little over 2-years, from 1794 to 1796, which is impressive. The wall that makes up Hwaseong Fortress is 5.7 km long and includes many defensive fighting positions, guard towers, and a pair of crossbow platforms.
During Japan’s occupation of Korea, they destroyed the fortress in an attempt to break the Korean spirit. When Korea regained its independence, they rebuilt the wall. According to the English-speaking guide, reconstruction lasted from 1975 to 1979. The guide was this really nice old man that came up to me near the archery field. We were chatting about Korea and America and then he talked for about 40-minutes giving me the history of the fortress and answering my questions. For instance, you may notice that the flag colors change in different sections of the fortress. That’s because they represent the cardinal directions – red is south, blue is east, black for north and white for west.
These stairs get progressively steeper. I took the long way around. As if the heat and humidity wasn’t already making me sweat. These stairs had it dripping off my chin. But it’s totally worth it, the view from the top is excellent and there are some cool features like the crossbow fighting position and the bell of filial piety.
If you didn’t know this was in Korea, this could easily be a castle from Game of Thrones, right?! Pretty damn cool.
Visiting Seoul? No worries. Getting to Suwon is easy. You can take the train, a bus, or the subway.
Thanks for reading!