Hwaseong Fortress – A Home Town of King Jeongjo – Back to the Past Adventure (Part 4)
After the show of martial arts at Sinpungnu, we looked at the map in our hand again to check what else we can visit in Hwaseong Fortress heritage site. We decided to go around the fortress without being aware how long it will take for us to finish the tour. From Hwaseong Haenggung, we turned left until we reached Paldalmun one of the four main gates in the fortress. Paldalmun is the south gate and based from Wikipedia, it houses a bell called Paldalmun Dongjong but we were not able to see the bell since we were not able to come inside the gate. This gate was not damaged during Korean war.
Paldalmun (South Gate)
From Paldalmun, we did some trek in Paldal Mountain using the road halfway and stair on the other half. On the way, we stopped in different fort, post and secret gates in the fortress namely: NamChi (Southern Turret), NamPoru (Southern Cannon Fort), SeonamiChi (Yongdodongchi – Turret East of Yongdo), SeonamGangnu (Southwestern Pavilion), SeonamilChi (Southwestern Turret), SeonamAmmun (Southwestern Secret Gate) and SeosamChi (Western Turret III). Along the way, we stopped as well in Memorial of Korean Independence to check the area and to have rest a bit. We continued our walk until we reached SeoJangdae Tourist Information Center. Then, we found the Bell of Hyowon for Filial Piety. Based from the guide that we have, the bell represents Suwon as a city of filial piety. I found out as well that King Jeongjo has a desire to move the capital from Seoul to Suwon.
On the way to SeonamGangnu
SeonamGangnu (Southwestern Pavilion)
SeonamAmmun (Southwestern Secret Gate) From SeonamGangnu
SeonamAmmun (Southwestern Secret Gate)
Memorial of Korean Independence
March 1st Independence Movement Memorial
Entrance to SeoJangdae Tourist Information Center
Bell of Hyowon for Filial Piety
The walk and trek continue until we saw other post, fort and secret gates at the top of Paldal Mountain such as Seoporu (Western Sentry Post), SeoAmmun (Western Secret Gate), SeoJangdae (Western Command Post) where we have a great view of Haenggung from the top, SeoNodae (Western Crossbow Platform), SeoiChi (Western Turret II), Seoporu (Western Cannon Port), SeoilChi (Western Turret I), SeobukGangnu (Northwestern Pavilion). Another main gate we passed which is called Suwon Hwaseomun (West Gate).
Seoporu (Western Sentry Post)
Surounding Views From SeoJangdae (Western Command Post) Area
Hwaseong Haenggung Views From SeoJangdae (Western Command Post) Area
SeoJangdae (Western Command Post)
Seoporu (Western Cannon Port)
Some snapshots of Fortress Trail
SeoilChi (Western Turret I)
SeobukGangnu (Northwestern Pavilion)
Snapshot From SeobukGangnu (Northwestern Pavilion) area
Trail View From Suwon Hwaseomun (West Gate)
Suwon Hwaseomun (West Gate) Snaphots along Fortress trail
SeobukGangnu (Northwestern Pavilion) From Ground
View From Suwon Hwaseomun (West Gate)
SeobukGingsimdon (Northwestern Watchtower) and Suwon Hwaseomun (West Gate)
Then, we passed as well the following: SeobukGingsimdon (Northwestern Watchtower), BukPoru (Northern Sentry Post), BukseoPoru (Northwestern Sentry Post) and BukseoJeokdae (Northwestern Gate Guard Platform). Next main gate we saw was the north gate which is called Janganmun (Bungmun – North Gate) which is the largest such gate in South Korea. Janganmun gate is part of the fortress that has been destroyed and reconstructed.
SeobukGingsimdon (Northwestern Watchtower)
BukPoru (Northern Sentry Post)
BukseoJeokdae (Northwestern Gate Guard Platform)
Janganmun (Bungmun – North Gate)
From Janganmun, we passed the following: BukdongJeokdae (Northeastern Gate Guard Platform), BukdongChi (Northeaster Turret), BukdongPoru (Northeastern Cannon Fort), Hwahongmun (Buksumon – Northern Floodgate) where we had a great view of Suwoncheon (stream), DongbukGaknu (Suwon Banghwasuryujeong – Northeastern Pavilion), BukAmmun (Northern Secret Gate), DongbukPoru (Northeastern Sentry Post), DongAmmun (Eastern Secret Gate), DongJangdae (Eastern Command Post), Yeonmudae Tourist Information Center and the last of the four main gate which is Changnyongmun (East Gate). This gate was destroyed during Korean war as well and has been completely restored. We also found from a far the DongbukGongsimdon (Northeastern Observation Tower).
Rooftop View of Hwahongmun and DongbukGaknu
Hwahongmun (Buksumon – Northern Floodgate)
DongbukGaknu (Suwon Banghwasuryujeong – Northeastern Pavilion)
DongAmmun (Eastern Secret Gate)
DongJangdae (Eastern Command Post)
Yeonmudae Tourist Information Center
Changnyongmun (East Gate)
The western side of the fortress is a mountain side, therefore, we weren’t able to imagine that we completed at least or more than 75% of the fortress. The part that we weren’t able to see is the eastern side. We never able to finish it since it’s getting dark. I was surprised that my mother was able to survive in this walking tour with half of it were trekking, maybe because we enjoyed all the things we saw along the way. When we arrived at Janganmun gate, heavy rain fell and we rested a while in the said gate until someone from tourist office trying to lock the gate. We were surprised at first until the personnel told us that he is going to lock the gate, if we were not aware what is happening and if he did not saw us, we will be ended locked-up in Janganmun, the good thing, it did not happen.
We ended the tour at the front of Changnyongmun which is the East Gate. From there, we took bus going back to Suwon station and followed the same route we did when we come to Suwon.
We had a very tiring day that day but for us it was another great walking adventure tour in South Korea.