Hwaseong Fortress guard post
The Hwaseong Fortress was constructed to encircle Suwon in 1796 by King Jeongjo in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to make the city the nation's capital. The fortress was constructed using the most advanced technology of the day, and included the use of the very first Korean crane, developed by the philosopher Jeong Yak-yong who took an active role in overseeing the construction. It was unique in that solid brick was used to construct the fortress as opposed to the more common stone constructions to be found in the country at that time.
The fortress contains four main gates - Paldalmun, Changganmun, Hwasomun, and Changnyongmun. The fortress contains various sentry posts, armories and hidden entrances, as well as a water gate where the Chilgansu stream enters the inner area. There are a number of ornate pavilions contained inside the fortress, including the Banghwasuryujong pavilion which overlooks the beautiful Yongyeon pond and flower garden.
The fortress walls are 5.52km long and it is possible to walk the entire length of the fortress, though the section of wall around Paldalmun has given way to urban expansion and the great gate sits in the middle of a traffic island.
Venturing away from the fortress walls and almost equidistant between Paldalmun and Hwasomun lies Hwaseong Haenggung, a temporary palace for King Jeongno when he was away from Seoul.
Hwaseong Fortress was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site at the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Meeting held in Naples, Italy on December 4th, 1997.