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Suwon Hwaseong Fortress

Written by : Bon Voyagers

There are many fortresses in Korea, among which Suwon Hwaseong Fortress is famous for its splendid architecture and secret gates. This magnificent Fortress was chosen to be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage in December 1997.

Now I will tell a little bit about the history of this fortress. It was constructed by King Jeongjo, who was the 22nd king of the Joseon dynasty. He was the son of Prince Sado, who was killed brutally because of a political conspiracy. He moved his father's grave to Suwon and built this fortress in the memories of his father. There was another reason behind it. He wanted to move the capital to Suwon and building this fortress was the first step towards it. Though he couldn't succeed to do it, this fortress has become a popular tourist spot.

This fortress is almost 6 km long and it is very popular with hikers. One of the interesting facts is the fortress walls remain intact almost as the original form as it was constructed 200 years ago.

Both day and night views are mesmerizing. We were lucky that it was a full moon night and enjoyed a beautiful view.

There are four gates of this fortress: Janganmun (north gate), Hwaseomun (west), Paldalmun (south), and Changnyongmun (east). Janganmun and Paldalmun are the largest of the four main gates and these gates built resembling Namdaemun of Seoul. Most of the tourists start their journey from Paldalmun from where you can buy a 1000 won ticket and collect tourist map.

You have to walk along with the fortress and come to Yeonmudae from where a trolley train service for a round trip of the fortress is also available by 4000 won. You can experience the archery from the Yeonmudae archery center.

Janganmun of this fortress is the largest gate in Korea. You take a flying balloon ride at Janganmun by 18000 won. You can experience the archery from the Yeonmudae archery center. The main place is near Janganmun and the entrance ticket is 3000 won. There was a cultural night festival from 23rd to 25th October, and our team went to cover this program.

After you leave the palace, you’ll want to climb up a bit to visit Daeseungwon, can see a giant gold Buddha statue. I haven't seen much this type of gold Buddha in Korea

You can hear a bell ring three times a day. This is a famous bell called'Hyowon bell' which was created by king Jeongjo to show devotion to his father. These bells sound has some heart-felt meaning. The first ring is for the gratitide of parents, second is for the family happiness and third is for self improvement.

There are many famous resturantants near this fortress. Also you can enjoy traditional style chicken from chicken street. A cup of warm coffee after a long walk at the fortress culture center is not a bad option also.

Autumn is one of the best times for visiting this fortress. The color of nature and the glory of this fortress will make your visit a memorable journey.

Address: 1-2 Jangan-dong, Paldal-gu, Suwon, Gyeonggi-do.

How to go there: From gangnam station take 3000 bus and it will take you infront of the Paldalmun gate.

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