Yesterday I wrote how we took the subway up to Seoul from my friend’s place on the Air Force base south of the metro area. Well it turns out is was an hour and a half train ride each way and that ate up a large part of the day. With this in mind we bid goodbyes and chose to stay in Seoul the last night of our visit.
On the way up to Seoul we got off the subway at the Suwon station (about 30 minutes north of the base and 1 hour south of Seoul city center) with luggage in tow. The nice thing is most South Korean stations have lockers to store your luggage. This meant we could visit another World Heritage Site with free hands.
Hwaseong Fortress was built when the Joseon King Jeongjo moved his father’s tomb to Suwon at the end of the 18th century. He surrounded the tomb with strong defensive works that were laid out by an influential military architect of the period. The architect brought together the latest developments in the field from both East and West. The massive walls, extending for nearly 6 km, still survive to this day and are pierced by four gates and equipped with bastions, artillery towers and other features.
We really liked this fortress, because the walls, gates, and towers were still intact even though a city had grown up on both sides of the wall. It was great walking along the top of the walls and the gates were works of art in my opinion. Our favorite part was Hwahongmun Gate which was built over a stream. It was so photogenic and I had to figure out how to get us from inside the gate down, under, and outside the wall for more photos. Well worth it!!!!
Now back onto the subway with our luggage in tow up to Seoul where we have to get to the next site by 1pm. Stay tuned!!!!