Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hwaseong Fortress

Hwaseong Fortress is just about a mile away from our apartment so off we set for another adventure in South Korea along with some exercise. Construction was planned by the 22nd king of the Joseon Dynasty, Jeongjo, when he decided to move his father's tomb from the Yangju area to Mt. Paldalsan in Suwon County in 1789. The fortress construction was started January 1794 and completed in June 1796.

This is called a "Poru" which is a tower with many holes which would enable the defenders to attack using guns for the smaller openings and cannons for the larger openings.

Janganmun Gate 장안문 - It is the north gate of the Fortress and it's main gate as well.

Gongsimdon is a 3-story stone brick structure built on top of the fortress wall. There are many holes in the wall which allowed sentries to keep watch on outside activities and to shoot intruders if needed. A unique feature of Hwaseong Fortress.

Steps leading up the Fortress wall.
To gauge just how massive this fortress is, do you see the people in the center of this picture?
A close up of the brick wall.
A path that runs along the Fortress.

Another pathway, I wouldn't want to try this during a rainstorm.

There is a lot of climbing and steps to be found throughout the Fortress. There were also a lot of Koreans taking advantage of the beautiful day.

More steps.
What you find at the top.
A beautiful view of the city of Suwon. Can you see our apartment?
Suwon is no small city and is growing unbelievably fast. There is always a construction crane in view just about from any vantage point.
This is not the first time I've seen this in Suwon. These are patients from a local hospital out for a little walk. It was four men, two had their left hand bandaged and I do admit that I looked at their backsides to see if they were covered.
I took a break from part of the walk, I was just too tuckered out. As I was sitting on a bench waiting for Curt to return, two Koreans with rather large lensed cameras walked by. All of a sudden, I hear click, click, click. They had ducked behind a tree about 20 yards from me and were taking pictures of me. I looked up at them and gave them the peace sign along with my biggest smile. They turned and ran.
I thought that was the end of the excitement for the day but you never know in South Korea. I'll tell you tomorrow what I witnessed and I have the pictures to prove it. Stay tuned, you won't believe it!


Helena said...

Cool! How fun to have that so close to where you live! I'd love to go and walk around. I've seen Paldalmun gate in Suwon, but I don't think I've ever seen the fortress.

If you like hiking you should go to one of the Buddhist temples and hike the mountain. Often there are are a couple of temples around the mountain and you can hike from one to the other. The trails tend to favor stairs over switchbacks.

Now I'll all curious about what else happened!

Helena said...

*I'm* all curious. Typo.

Becky said...

Thanks Helena for all the good info.

I also love it when I can leave a post with a teaser!

Eva Karrin McKinnon said...

Great photos! How are you uploading them that big?

I've been having trouble with Photobucket

CreekHiker said...

Becky, What a great hike! And so close to you!

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