Saturday, February 11, 2012

Hwaseong Fortress

One of my favorite parts of Suwon City was Hwaseong Fortress.  Suwon is located about 30 km south of Seoul and is most well known for the fortress, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.  The easiest way to get there is probably to take the Suwon City bus tour which is located just outside the Suwon metro station. If you look around and see these two 'generals', you've found the right place. This 2-hour city tour also includes a visit to the outdoor KBS studio set and the Hwaseong Haenggung palace.

Built in the late 18th century during the reign of King Jeongjo, Hwaseong fortress was built after careful study of fortress construction techniques used in Japan and China. The fortress was also noted for using new construction equipment never previously used in such projects. Its a little bit hard to see but the map sort of gives you an idea of how much of Suwon is actually located within the fortress itself.

This was the Seonodae, the western crossbow tower which provides a complete 360 view of the surroundings for archers to launch their arrows. Below that is a guard post which stands nearby.

The next stop was at one of the main gates where a watchtower guarded over a stream.  I particularly liked this design, elegant but utilitarian as well.

This was the central command post where you can get a really good view of the surroundings from the elevated platform. In the distance is another watchtower along the walls.

A look back down at the stream from the command post.

That was pretty much the end of the tour of the fortress as we headed next to the KBS studio and the palace. Unfortunately, since it was raining, we didn't get to participate in the archery component. There is also a longer (I think maybe 5 hours) tour encompassing more of the fortress and of the general Suwon area which you can also consider taking. Just keep in mind that they don't offer tours if there's less than 4 people so make sure to check in advance and watch your email - even if you're already in Korea!


  1. Hey~ I'm looking some info about visiting the KBS Suwon Center, and I found your blog. Like you said, the only option is to join the Suwon city tour~ so should we reserve days before for this tour or just come and join the tour? is there any website for this city tour? Thank you

  2. I think I reserved it about a month before but I think you can pretty much reserve it anytime. Just be sure to check your email on the day before because they emailed me saying my afternoon tour was cancelled because of too few ppl (I think they need a minimum of 4) and that I would have to join their morning tour (which was at 10:30 I think)

  3. Here's the reservation link~ and some more info -