Hwaseong Fortress is yet another of South Korea's UNESCO World
Heritage sites. The fortress is situated in Suwon, a city south of
Seoul central but still within the greater Seoul area. Hwaseong
Fortress was completed in 1796 in order to protect the capital from
Japanese invasions. The 3.5-mile (5.7km) fortress wall weaves in
and out of the modern buildings and roads of Suwon. Visitors to
Suwon can climb parts of the fortress wall and marvel at the
intricate and often colourful architecture that makes this
extraordinary stone edifice blend in to its surroundings in a
typically Korean, harmonious fashion. The Hwaseong fortress
includes 41 watchtowers, the Great South Gate, Paldalmun and Seobuk
Gongsimdon. There are also some traditional teahouses in the
vicinity of the most popular sections of the wall where visitors
can stop for a refreshing cup of iced tea.
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