Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Suwon's Hwaseong Fortress (photo-essay #3)

Time flies when you're having fun... or are just plain busy (as is regularly the case for me here in Hong Kong). At any rate, it's now two whole weeks since the end of my Korean vacation. Yet there remains so many photos taken over the course of it that I wish to share. So, without further ado, here's the third and last of the photo-essays (with the first and second being accessible here and here respectively) that I'll devote to what I saw while tramping along Suwon's scenic walls of the historic Hwaseong Fortress:-

View of the Banghwasuryujeong (the building on the left),
and Yongyeon (the man-made pond in the center) --
collectively known as Yongjidaewol and regarded as
"the best scenery among the eight most beautiful" in Suwon

A location near Hwaseong Fortress where
one can try one's hands at
traditional Korean archery if one is so inclined!

At the Dongjangdae (place to conduct military training),
I noticed the shadows, including my own(!),
lengthening quite a bit

The so-called "Turban Shell Tower"
officially known as Dongbuk Gonsimdon

View from inside one of Hwaseong Fortress'
more regularly (i.e., rectangular)-shaped towers

To get a sense of the attention to detail paid in Suwon:
here's an example of the patterned manhole covers
found on the walls of Hwaseong Fortress (and ewaffle,
here's more of that "maze" you previously talked about!)

East meets West? The Christian cathedral on the left
(and in the distance) and Hwaseong Fortress'
Bongdon signal post on the right (and in the foreground)

At hike's end: The last bits of wall that I walked down
into Suwon town proper as sunset approached
on that wonderful vacation day

In conclusion: yes, the walk along the Hwaseong Fortress walls is quite a bit of trek. But if it's not obvious already, it's highly recommended to those fit and able enough to complete it! :)


lissa said...

the last pic looks like the great wall of china, definitely wouldn't mind trying the archery, though I probably would be bad at it

ewaffle said...

This is such a lovely set of images. In the first one it looks like a nice urban park, particularly with the single individual sitting looking at the pond with his back to the cityscape. That is the type of detail that makes these pictures come alive--while Hwaseong Fortress is a great tourist destination it is also a place just to sit and relax for a bit, close to but away from the city.

The archery range very telling, almost chilling since South Korea such a militarized society (leaving aside for a moment the occupying army still quartered there) and has been invaded so many times during its history. It is a reminder that this is a fort, a structure built, among other things, to military specifications.

When the designers/builders decide that a logo or decorative theme is important enough to cast manhole covers with it, clearly someone was thinking of every possible detail.

YTSL said...

Hi Lissa --

I was intimidated by the distant targets for the archers -- so didn't try. Then, when walking on the part of the wall near the targets, worried that some of the people tempted to try the archery might overshoot and hit me! ;O

Hi ewaffle --

Glad that you clicked on the first photo to enlarge it and see its details. :)

Re contemporary life in Suwon: When I was walking along the wall, I came across two girls using large sheets of cardboard to slide down the grass slopes along it. They looked like they were having so much fun! :)

And as for life in other times: yes, it hit home several times during my Korean visit that that land is one that has seen a lot of war and foreign invasion/occupation...