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Hwaseong Fortress, Suwon

Must see · World heritage site · Historic Walking Area · Landmark
Listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site, Hwaseong Fortress embodies the economic and militaristic power of the Joseon Dynasty at the end of the 18th century. Stretching for 5.52 km (3.43 mi), the partly restored fortress houses many different military facilities, along with the king's palace. Notice the holes in the walls which allowed easy gun/arrow fire and spear-attacking during the siege. As you explore along the long solid wall, observe the structures that surround it, like floodgates, watchtowers, wooden pavilions, and the beacon tower. You can attend a variety of performances here, as well as annual festivals, to fully experience the fort's history and tradition. For Hwaseong Fortress and beyond, use our Suwon driving holiday planner to get the most from your Suwon vacation.
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Hwaseong Fortress reviews

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  • Yuppies' penthouses visible from vantage point of this sprawling fort. Interestingly maintained old fort.  more »
  • I visited Hwaseong Fortress at the beginning of May. I took a red bus from Seoul for a one day trip and had a good time strolling through tiny streets surrounding Hwaseong, little alleys full of...  more »
  • If you have ample time in South Korea, Hwaseong Fortress is the best side trip to add. Its far from Seoul but manageable and worth it. It is a large area in located in the center of Suwon. Aside from....  more »
  • An impressive UNESCO site in South Korea. The fortress walls can be hiked around but be aware there some very steep sections to traverse. It's always awesome to see schedule historical places in person that had such an influence on a country's culture. The fortress walls and area are free to walk, if you wish to tour the actual fortress area there is 1,500 won fee, extremely cheap by any standards. Unfortunately, there is only one section of the original fortress still standing; one can guess what war does to a country, it's infrastructure, and history. If you're ever in Suwon, I recommend seeing this inspiring bit of history. Plan to spend at least a whole day here. Afterwards, there are many places to eat and a great deal of shops to walk around and check out.
  • This fortress will impress ... any sightseer. It is an UNESCO world heritage site and for good reason, this was an absolute gem! It was a great way to spend a day or a few. You can hike the wall and then take a break and tuck into a local establishment for a bite to eat. It is fun for all ages. I will let my photos do the rest of the talking.
  • Hwaseong Fortress is a fortification surrounding the old city center of Suwon. It was built over a two and a half-year period, from 1794 to 1796, under the command of King Jeongjo (r. 1776-1800) of the Joseon dynasty (1392-1910). The construction of this fortress was a result of meticulous city planning by King Jeongjo. The Suwon area had long been regarded as one of the most auspicious sites on the Korean peninsula. So, the king moved the grave of his father, Prince Sado, from Yangju (present-day Hwigyeong-dong, Seoul) to Suwon in 1789. Due to the relocation of the tomb of Prince Sado, a new city was required to accommodate the former residents of the area. The king hired prominent scholars and engineers to build the new city as a secure, convenient, and prosperous one. The fortified walls of the new city, named Hwaseong, maintained the traditional Korean style, as they were constructed in accordance with the natural slopes of the area. Bricks were used to solidify and strengthen the walls, and the walls featured several advanced technologies and defense facilities from China and the West. Also, located at a transportation juncture to the south of the capital area, Hwaseong had many economic benefits. New roads were paved around the fortress to attract merchants from all around the country, and many economic policies were implemented to support market development. Hwaseong Fortress is considered as a masterpiece of Joseon architecture, and in recognition of its outstanding universal value, it was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1997.
  • They have this well labeled and preserved. It is a lovely walk if you don't mind steep stairs (very steep)! We didn't walk the entire wall but enjoyed the part we did experience. There were several groups of school children anxious to practice their English with us - very cute!
  • Nice stroll in the evening. The locals also like to come up to the fort walls and sit under one of the covered structures and feel the breeze during the hot summer nights. Would make an excellent walk to go around the whole wall and take in the view of history and modern city of Suwon.

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