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I’ll be honest — for some reason, I thought the fortress was just a small structure, and I wouldn’t really be impressed by it after seeing Seoul’s palaces and about a million temples throughout the country. Wrong. It’s incredible. Of all the fortresses and walled-in cities in Korea, it’s the only one left that’s fully intact, and it’s as stunning as that sounds.
Anyhow, if you’re planning on traveling around Seoul, definitely add in Suwon Hwaseong to your itinerary.
The Suwon (Hwaseong) Fortress is an impressive UNESCO World Heritage site accessible from the South Korean capital city of Seoul within less than an hour by public transport. It’s a brilliant day trip from the city and offers the chance to enjoy stunning views whilst marvelling at the original walls, constructed as long ago as the 1790’s!
When the Joseon King Jeongjo moved his father’s tomb to Suwon at the end of the 18th century, he surrounded it with strong defensive works, laid out according to the precepts of an influential military architect of the period, who brought together the latest developments in the field from both East and West. The massive walls, extending for nearly 6 km, still survive; they are pierced by four gates and equipped with bastions, artillery towers and other features.