This week we are at Hwaseong Museum and Fortress in Suwon, Korea. Welcome to week 274 (4/21/2016) of Travel Photo Thursday. I’m croaking like a frog this week with a severe sore throat, and a bit of a head cold.
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An hour from Seoul is the city of Suwon, well known for the Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO designated heritage site. The tour was a free tour sponsored by government and hosted by a local group Hippie Korea . Our guide and story teller David Mason kept us entertained with stories of King Seongjo, who was the mastermind behind Hwaseong Fortress, and the city that is now Suwon. Construction began in 1795.
The 17th-century town bears no resemblance to the 21st century Suwon!
The Korean’s have always loved keeping meticulous records.
I can never resist taking a photo of the old hats!
From the museum, we made our way to the Hwaseong Fortress. There was one brief stop along the way. We could hear the drumming before we even entered a nondescript building about 2 minutes from the museum. I always say follow the drums, and I was not disappointed. I walked into a rehearsal for a dancing event taking place at the end of the month.
The dance is called Seongmu. There isn’t a lot written about this particular dance. However, I have read that it is a combination of a variety of dances, and its roots in Buddhist dance. Whatever its history and origin, the dance is magnificent, and this young dancer’s solo performance was truly lovely.
After that surprise, it was a short walk to Bukammun (the northern secret gate) of Hwaseong Fortress. There were spring flowers to smell along the way.
The guard played his part well! His seemingly unfriendly demeanor was a sham. He hammed it up for the camera whenever he asked, and enjoyed the attention.
Views from the gate.
This is only a minuscule section of Hwaseong Fortress. If you want to see everything you need at least a half a day, and an entire day would be best. I recommend a spring or autumn visit. Summers are brutally hot, and winter here is another extreme.
On our way to the bus for our next stop.
Our next stop was the Toilet Museum, and you will see and hear all about that next week. My throat is on fire, and I am off to bed.
The fortress definitely is worthy of a visit if you are in and around Seoul. You can find out more here, including hours of operation and how to get there from Seoul.
You can browse the Travel Photo Thursday archives here.
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