Suwon III - Hwaseong Palace Grounds

Interior of the exterior gate

Back to the rest of my travel log:

Suwon also includes a "Temporary Palace" meant as a retreat for the King during crisis as well as a place to stay when the original builder came to Suwon to pay his respects as his father's tomb.  
Interior Gate
Approaching the palace from the street.

A view down into the palace from the hill.
Entry into the palace was an additional 1100 Won (about $1 US) and you could observe most of the buildings inside.  There is a reenactment group that does a martial arts display at 1100 every day.  They guide said 1100 and 1500, but when I arrived at the gate the sign said 1100 only.  I had a chance to see part of the display from the hilltop, but really missed out.

A selection of flags/banners in the first courtyard.

One of the major buildings inside the compound. (Upper right on map below)

A metal diorama of the compound set up just outside the main gate.   

The primary meeting area with a throne area overlooking the interior courtyard.

Doors leading to the small living chambers inside the palace.  
I was really intrigued by how small the living quarters actually were.  It looked like most functionaries had a roughly 2m by 3m area to call home.

There was also a display of military dress for soldiers and officers.

Behind a locked cage were the uniforms and weapons for the reenactors as well.

Helmets and uniforms

A small cannon

Examples of the military spears, pikes and tridents.  Note the tassels used to confuse/distract the opponent. 

Some banner poles and pennants 
There was also a display for women's dress with clothes used in a Korean docu-drama.

One of the walls inlcuded a long scroll showing the Kings escorts when he moved out from the capitol.  I took several snapshots for inspiration in painting units for the earlier Imjin War period.

There is a museum located just down the street from the palace.  There were several mock-ups of older construction equipment used in the creation of the fortress itself.

Wheel and axle structure for the modelers out there

Block and tackle system.

I was also struck by the sheer size of the Catholic Cathedral locate just outside the walls in Suwon proper.

Overall an interesting tour possibility.  If I ever get a chance to return to Korea, I really want to visit Gang-Wa Island near Inchon.


  1. Great pictures! I especially like the scroll images!

    1. I figure they will come in useful

  2. Continued excellent travelogue! Scroll battle images are cool and the uniforms displays will come in quite useful for your project. Nancy brought back battle scrolls from her last trip to Japan. They are inspiring.

    1. I didn't find a scroll battle image, I wouldn't mind taking a peek at your battle scrolls for my own Samurai skirmish project.


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