Hwaseong Fortress : Fortress Wall Surrounding Suwon

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
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

[table sort=”desc,asc”]Bongdon (Beacon Signals) thumb,Bukammun (Northern Secret Gate) thumb,Bukdongchi (Northeaster Turret) thumb
Bongdon~~(Beacon Signals),Bukammun~~(Northern Secret Gate),Bukdongchi~~(Northeaster Turret)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Bukdongjeokdae (Northeastern Gate Turret) thumb,Bukporu (Northern Sentry Post) thumb,Bukseojeokdae (Northwestern Gate Turret) thumb
Bukdongjeokdae~~(Northeastern Gate Turret),Bukporu~~(Northern Sentry Post),Bukseojeokdae~~(Northwestern Gate Turret)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Bukseoporu (Northwestern Sentry Post) thumb,Buksumun (Northern Floodgate) thumb,Changnyongmun Gate thumb
Bukseoporu~~(Northwestern Sentry Post),Buksumun~~(Northern Floodgate),Changnyongmun Gate~~ [/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Dongammun (Eastern Secret Gate) thumb,Dongbukgangnu (Northeastern Angle Tower) thumb,Dongbukgongsimdon (Northeastern Watchtower) thumb
Dongammun~~(Eastern Secret Gate),Dongbukgangnu~~(Northeastern Angle Tower),Dongbukgongsimdon~~(Northeastern Watchtower)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Dongbuknodae (Northeastern Crossbow Tower) thumb,Dongichi (Eastern Turret II) thumb,Dongilchi (Eastern Turret I) thumb
Dongbuknodae~~(Northeastern Crossbow Tower),Dongichi~~(Eastern Turret II),Dongilchi~~(Eastern Turret I)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Dongilporu (Eastern Sentry Post I) thumb,Dongiporu (Eastern Sentry Post II) thumb,Dongjangdae (Eastern Command Post) thumb
Dongilporu~~(Eastern Sentry Post I),Dongiporu~~(Eastern Sentry Post II),Dongjangdae~~(Eastern Command Post)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Dongnamgangnu (Southeastern Pavilion) thumb,Dongporu (Eastern Sentry Post) thumb,Dongsamchi (Eastern Turret III) thumb
Dongnamgangnu~~(Southeastern Pavilion),Dongporu~~(Eastern Sentry Post),Dongsamchi~~(Eastern Turret III)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Hwaseomun Gate thumb,Janganmun Gate thumb,Namchi (Southern Turret) thumb
Hwaseomun Gate~~ ,Janganmun Gate~~ ,Namchi~~(Southern Turret)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Namporu (Southern Sentry Post) thumb,Paldalmun Gate thumb,Seoammun (Western Secret Gate) thumb
Namporu~~(Southern Sentry Post),Paldalmun Gate~~ ,Seoammun~~(Western Secret Gate)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Seobukgangnu (Northwestern Pavilion) thumb,Seobukgongsimdon (Northwestern Watchtower) thumb,Seoilchi (Western Turret I) thumb
Seobukgangnu~~(Northwestern Pavilion),Seobukgongsimdon~~(Northwestern Watchtower),Seoilchi~~(Western Turret I)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Seojangdae (Western Command Post) thumb,Seonamammun (Southwestern Secret Gate) thumb,Seonamgangnu (Southwestern Pavilion) thumb
Seojangdae~~(Western Command Post),Seonamammun~~(Southwestern Secret Gate),Seonamgangnu~~(Southwestern Pavilion)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Seonamposa (Southwestern Sentry Station) thumb,Seonodae (Western Crossbow Tower) thumb,Seoporu (Western Sentry Post) thumb
Seonamposa~~(Southwestern Sentry Station),Seonodae~~(Western Crossbow Tower),Seoporu~~(Western Sentry Post)[/table]
[table sort=”desc,asc”]Seoporu (Western Sentry Post II) thumb,Seosamchi (Western Turret III) thumb,Yongdo (Passageway) thumb
Seoporu~~(Western Sentry Post II),Seosamchi~~(Western Turret III),Yongdo~~(Passageway)[/table]

[table sort=”desc,asc”]
Yongdodongchi (Turret East Of Yongdo) thumb,Yongdoseochi (Turret West Of Yongdo) thumb,
Yongdodongchi~~(Turret East Of Yongdo),Yongdoseochi~~(Turret West Of Yongdo), ~~ [/table]