Suwon Fortress Part I

It turned out that I had a day between the end of my exercise and my flight, so I took another day trip.  This time the destination was Suwon, a suburb of Seoul and site of a 18th C. fortress.  It was a 3 hour train ride up there (no KTX for this one...), followed by a quick bus trip to the park.  Much like all of my excursions in Korea, this would be an adventure in cardio.
Going up

and up

and up

are we done yet?  I think I need to throw up!
The fortress itself is essentially a walled city.  The walls run in a 5.5km loop running up the center of the dominant mountain in the terrain.  Unlike most of the older fortresses, you could see a lot of the original materials used, as it was built after the Imjin war.  

The wall includes numerous observation points, cannon redoubts, crossbow "houses" and major and minor gates.  Many of the cleared fields of fire have given way to forested parkland (on the mountain) and dense suburban sprawl.

A section of wall including observation point

One of the "Chi" or Turrets that protrude out from the wall

A large Crossbow platform at the peak of the mountain

One of the gates and guard towers

Interior wall leading back up the mountain.

The "suburb" of Seoul

The view from the crossbow platform

General's observation point at the high point of the tower,

Observation point at a large protrusion from the wall.

Now that is a fortress wall!

Ubiquitous photo at one of the main gates

Model of a traditional home inside the wall

Entrance to a guard tower

A nice mix of old and new

Inside the fortress walls

Confucian center inside the fortress

A river runs through it.

This one is turning into another picture bomb, so I will split it up for those of you who are trying to avoid a tedious slide show...


  1. You know what? I was an exchange student in Ajou University in 2006, located in Suwon! Familiar fort.

    1. That's great stuff. Feel free to let me know when I get stuff wrong.

    2. Depends. Was "Confusion center" intentional? :)
      Anyways, it's good that at least the stone stuff has survived. Pretty much all of the old wooden structures have been destroyed in the Korean War.

    3. I am going to chalk that up to auto-correct. I noticed a relative "sameness" to most of the fortifications as they were all restored within the last 40-50 years. Between the Mongols, Steppe Raiders, Chinese dynasties and especially the Japanese, it is a wonder that any original structure is still standing.

  2. Terrific photos! The crossbow platform is something I had not seen before. Cool!
    always enjoy travel photos. Keep them coming.


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