Suwon Fortress Part II

Part II of my wanderings through Suwon.  Now with more Walls and Buildings!  The previous update focused on the mountain top itself.  This one involves following the walls down into the valley and the city of Suwon itself.

and climbing, let us not forget the climbing

One of the things that is most obvious is that Seoul has grown to devour most of this site.  The interior includes two museums and several commercial and residential districts.  The Korean government has done a fairly food job of maintaining historical integrity while accommodating their explosive growth.
The plus side of climbing so much, is that you eventually get to descend.  Center photo is the old South Gate.

Crossbow position

Firing slits

The Northern gate included two large cannon redoubts with a cannon on display in each.

Fields of fire are slightly obscured

The north gate still retains the structure of the walls allowing you to pass over traffic.
An intentional breech of the North wall
 A river passes South to North through the fortress and is accommodated by two purpose built water gates.
The water gate is on the lower left

Close up of the other water gate, this one is obviously restored/modern
 The South gate is now the middle of the traffic circle in a busy commercial district.
Outside of main gate

Inside of main gate

Civilization has overtaken martial necessity
 Along the east side, the interior is still maintained in a park setting.
Wall interior
Related to the last post, I found these photos of the Sally gate from the South side of the mountain.
Sally gate with crossbow/matchlock position

Old walls still visible

Inside one of the firing points

Sally gate near the peak.

From the East side looking back to the mountain top.  This was a sizable fortress

Another breach in the wall.

A view through an observation point back into the Eastern command post.

The East side of the fortress contained a command post with drill field and archery center.  If you arrive early in the day you can get an archery lesson and loose a few arrows for about 3000 Won, ($2.75)

One of the interesting pieces on the Eastern side were the signal towers.  Korea traditionally had signal towers on the mountains throughout the Peninsula in order to facilitate rapid communication of attacks back to the capitol.  (Think the signal fires between Gondor and Rohan in the "The Two Towers")  I saw the remains of these sites at Jinju and Apsan, but this is a complete mock-up.

The site had five smoke stacks to indicate:

1 - Normal Operations, people are actually here and alert.
2 - Enemy sighted near border/coast
3 - Enemy at border
4 - Enemy crossed border
5 - Fighting under way
Another view of what the defenses were meant to look like.

I finished off my day by finding a nice restaurant and getting some beef stew.
Next on the tour set, the royal palace.


  1. Fantastic photos, thanks for sharing!

  2. More of an excellent photo tour!

  3. Great tour. That would be a royal pain to assault. I like the signal tower aspect.

  4. You have enough photos and background material to submit to Osprey for one of their Fortifications series. Very nifty site. The Main Gate is impressive. That is a BIG bowl of stew!


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