Hwaseong Fortress is an impressive structure from the latter part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) and the official fortress of Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do. The fortress (constructed from 1794 to 1796) was built as a display of the King’s filial piety towards his father Jangheonseja and to build a new pioneer city with its own economic power.
The fortress wall stretches for a total of 5.52km and has a great variety of military facilities that are hard to find anywhere else. Four gates face each of the cardinal directions—Janganmun (north), Paldalmun (south), Changnyongmun (east), and Hwaseomun (west)—and the seven-arch style Sumun gates straddle the point where the nearby stream reaches the palace. Above the Sumun gates is a pavilion called Hwahongmun.
Hwaseong Fortress was constructed under the guidance of Yu Hyeong-Won (1622-1673) and Jeong Yak-Yong (1762-1836), and is believed to have been constructed very scientifically. The fortress wall was built using Seokjae and Jeondol (bricks) and the holes between the bricks are just big enough to fire guns, arrows, or long spears through in case of an attack.
During construction of the fortress Jeong Yak-Yong invented ‘Geojunggi,’ which uses a ‘hwalcha’ (lever) to lift up heavy stones, greatly reducing construction time.
The Suwon Hwaseong Fortress went through many turbulent times and damage, and in the battle of June 25th, many of the facilities became so damaged that they were deemed irreparable. Even though the fortress restoration initiative (1975-1979) restored many of the sites to their former glory, Paldalmun to Dongnamgakru (an area 491 meters in length) has still not been renovated.
The fortress was designated as Historic Site No. 3 in January 1963, and in December 1997, it was designated a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. A variety of performances and events are held at the fortress every day and Suwon Hwaseong Cultural Festival takes place here in autumn.
Popular nearby, compatible sites for a private tour in Gyeonggi-do:
Korean Folk Village
Yunggeolleung Royal Tomb
910, Jeongjo-ro, Paldal-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 수원시 팔달구 정조로 910 (장안동)
N/A (Open all year round)
[Suwon Hwasweong Admission]
* Individuals – Adults 1,000 won / Teenagers 700 won / Children 500 won
* Groups – Adults 700 won / Teenager 500 won / Children 300 won
* Group: 20 people or more
* Admission to Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and Hwaseong Haenggung Palace is free of charge to visitors wearing hanbok (including casual hanbok).
[Integrated ticket: Suwon Hwaseong Fortress, Hwaseong Haenggung Palace, Suwon Museum, Suwon Hwaseong Museum]
Individuals – Adults 3,500 won / Teenagers 2,000 won / Children 800 won
Groups – Adults 2,000 won / Teenagers 1,200 won / Children 600 won
* Group: 20 people or more
* Combination ticket is not available on the first Monday of every month due to the closing of museums.
[Gukgung (Korean Traditional Archery)]
Details: Basic understanding of Gukgung, demonstration of posture, and experience shooting with bow and arrow.
Operating hours: 30 min. intervals beginning from 09:30 (excluding lunch hours 12:30-13:30)
Location: Hwaseong Yeonmudae Post
Fee: 2,000 won (10 arrows per lesson)
* Available to visitors aged 7 and over / Maximum of 25-30 people can participate per lesson
* Lesson is subject to cancellation due to weather conditions such as rain or snow.
[Hwaseong Fortress Tourist Trolley]
Details: A tourist trolley with a design inspired by the royal vehicle used by King Gojong and palanquins of the Joseon Dynasty.
Operating hours: 10:00-16:30, operates 12 times a day in 30 min. intervals (excluding lunch hours 12:00-12:30)
Route: Yeonmudae Post – Hwahongmun Gate – Hwaseomun Gate – Paldalsan Mountain – Hwaseong Haenggung Palace – Paldalmun Traditional Market – Suwon Hwaseong Museum – Yeonmudae Post
Ticket Offices: Yeonmudae Post Ticket Office (+82-31-228-4686), Hwaseong Haeggung Palace Ticket Office (+82-31-228-4683)
Fees: Individual – Adults 3,000 won, Teenagers 2,000 won, Children 1,000 won / Group – Adults 2,400 won, Teenagers 1,600 won, Children 800 won) / Senior citizens (ages 65 and over) 1,500 won
* Trolley will not be in operation during rain or snow.
[Bell of Hyowon – Bell Ringing Experience]
Operating hours: Winter season (November-February) 09:00-17:00 / Summer Season (March-October) 09:00-18:00
Location: Paldalsan Mountain peak
Fees: 1-2 people 1,000 won (3 strikes) / 3-4 people 2,000 won (3 strikes)
Inquiries: Seojangdae Post Ticket Office (+82-31-228-4669)
[Velotaxi / Electric Bicycle Taxi]
Operating hours: Tuesday – Sunday 09:30-17:20 (operates 7 times a day, excluding lunch hours 12:20-13:30)
Location: Next to Tourist Information Desk at Hwaseong Fortress Square
Fees: Adults 5,000 won / Teenagers 3,000 won / Children 1,000 won
Course A (Hwaseong Fortress Square – Suwoncheon Stream – Hwahongmun Gate – Janganmun Gate – Hwaseomun Gate – Hwaseong Fortress Square)
Course B (Hwaseong Fortress Square – Janganmun Gate – Jangan Park – Hwaseomun Gate – House of Na Hye-seok – Hwaseong Fortress Square)
Course C (Hwaseong Fortress Square – Beautiful Haenggung Street – Tongdak (Chicken) Street – Suwoncheon Stream – Hwahongmun Gate – Hwaseong Fortress Square)
* Free of charge for infants accompanied by an adult.
* Departs at 30 min. of every hour (three bikes depart at the same time with 10 min. breaks)
* Velotaxi and Electric Bicycle Taxis will not be in operation during snow or rain and in winter.
※ Two people maximum per bike. One-time ride takes approx. 50 min.
Operating hours: 09:30-21:00
Location: Suwon Hwaseong Fortress Changnyongmun Gate Parking Lot Area
Fees: Adults 18,000 won / Teenagers 17,000 won / Children 15,000 won
Inquiries: Flying Suwon Corp. (+82-31-247-1300)
* Group (12 people or more) – 10% discount (not applicable with other discounts)
* Schedule is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. Inquiry in advance is highly recommended.
[Animation Video – Tour of Hwaseong Fortress with Hwaseong the Mascot]
Operating hours: November-February 09:00-16:30 / March-October 09:30-17:00
Location: Underground Media Room in Hwaseong Fortress Hongbogwan (Promotion) building
Fees: Free of charge (first-come, first-served / 65 seats total)
Inquiries: Suwon Hwaseong Fortress Hongbogwan (+82-31-290-3601)
* Must arrive at least 3 minutes before show time. At least 4 people required for screening.
* Schedule is subject to change due to events or unforeseen circumstances. Inquiry in advance is highly recommended.