Saturday, October 3, 2009

Korea (III). Suwon

Suwon is a city located some 30 km South of Seoul and it can be reached by metro from the capital city. The main sight here is the UNESCO World Heritage Hwaseong Fortress, a wall of around 5km which surrounds part of the city. There are also some sights such a Korean Folk Town (topic for the next post) in a nearby city and a just reconstructed palace near the walled fortress.

First of all, I visited that palace. Its name is Hwaseong Haenggung. Some king used this palace for some important historical celebrations. Currently, the palace looks like a succession of courtyards with nice Korean traditional architecture. Have a look:

The walls which are World Heritage draw kind of a circle around the mountains in Suwon. In the place where they should touch, there is a famous gate: Paldalmun.

This is the map of the walk I was going to start.

The beginning of the round trip around the wall starts with a pretty steep climb! In no time you get a nice perspective over the whole city:

The views from the top of the mountain are really good. I was just uphill from the palace I visited before. Therefore, I could take a nice shot of it:

There are several buildings at the top of the mountain: a tower and a Korean style pavilion (maybe a shrine?).

After descending the mountain, the best sights appear:

- A pretty nice gate with a tower next to it in a curve in the wall

- A cool large gate in the same style as Paldalmun

- A succession of nice buildings in the wall with a river crossing the wall

- The other side of the wall in the place where the river came in

Further on, more buildings, gates, etc... But the highlights maybe was just walking along the wall and enjoying the views

The last kilometers were not so impressive in the sense that there were no major sights, just outlook towers. Anyway, still pretty enjoyable.

Hwaseong fortress was an impressive sight! Maybe one of the highlights of Korea! and accessible by metro from Seoul!! :)

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