Hwaseong Fortress : Fortress Wall Surrounding Suwon

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Hwaseong Fortress at Suwon, South Korea

Hwaseong Fortress at Suwon

Hwaseong Fortress is a fortified wall surrounding the center of Suwon to honor Prince Sado, the father of King Jeongjo. In 1789, the remains of Prince Sado, who was sentenced to death by his own father King Jeongjo, were moved to this location. A fortress known as Hwaseong was ordered to be built to honor and protect the remains of Sado.

Construction began in January 1794 with the help of designer and architect Jeong Yak-yong. In September 1796, construction was complete. The project utilized new technological advancements in construction and was fully paid for by the government. In the end, it took over 700,000 man hours to complete.

Hwaseong consists of a defensive fortress and a wall that is 5.74 kilometers (3.57 miles) long and 4-6 meters (13-20 feet) high. At the time of construction, the wall surrounded and protected the center of Suwon. Access to the city was controlled by four main gates : Changnyongmun, Hwaseomun, Janganmun, and Paldalmun.

King Jeongjo also had other reasons to build the Hwaseong. He believed Suwon had potential to be a prosperous new capital. He tried to move the capital city from Seoul to Suwon, which in the end proved to be unsuccessful.

Dongjangdae at Hwaseong Fortress in Suwon

Dongjangdae

Hwaseomun Gate at Hwaseong Fortress

Hwaseomun Gate

During the Korean War, Hwaseong was heavily damaged. Reconstruction was started in 1970s. Thanks to well kept construction records, Hwaseong was able to be restored to its original state. Since then, routine maintenance has occurred.

Hwaseong Fortress became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Walking along the wall on snowy steps at Hwaseong Fortress

Walking along the wall on snowy steps at Hwaseong Fortress on a winter day

What To See

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Directions To Hwaseong Fortress

  • Once in Suwon, walk outside of the train station.
    Cross the road, turn right, and walk from 100 meters to the Yeokjeon Market bus stop.
    Take bus 16-2 or 50-4 (8 stops, 13 minutes).
    Exit the bus at Janganmun.
    When exiting the bus, turn to the right and continue straight for less than 5 minutes to reach Janganmun Gate.
    The ticket office is through the gate and on the right.

    Direction from Seoul Station to Suwon can be found here.

Hours

  • Open daily

    Summer : 9:00-18:00
    Winter : 9:00-17:00

    The fortress wall can be walked for free after hours.

Fees

  • Adults : 1,000 won
    Youth : 700 won
    Children : 500 won

    Groups (over 30 people)
    Adults : 700 won
    Youth : 500 won
    Children : 300 won

    Credit cards are accepted

Map

  • GPS Coordinates (Longitude and Latitude) of Hwaseong Fortress : 37.288828,127.01424.
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