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Fortress of Seoul Ep.3 Hanyang City Wall and Inwangsan Mountain

Fortress of Seoul Ep.3 Hanyang City Wall and Inwangsan Mountain


Hello. In Episode 1 and Episode 2, I learned a little about Seoul. I also learned about Seoul's subway fare system and looked for places to rent hanbok near Gyeongbokgung Palace.

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Today we are going to look at a fortress in Seoul. Our group, who likes mountaineering and had frequent mountaineering meetings, went to Inwangsan Mountain, which is located behind Gyeongbokgung Palace.

1. Seoul, a great city for hiking

(1) Hanyang City Wall that surrounds Seoul

If you live in Seoul, you may have seen the fortress road at least once. The most famous place is Naksan Park, located in Hyehwa, which is a good place for a walk or a light exercise. It is also recommended for those who like to enjoy the night view. Also, if you pass Dongdaemun or Namdaemun, you will see traces of the fortress wall on the gate.

As such, the fortress is a cultural asset that we are familiar with even today. Hanyang City Wall began to be extended during the Joseon Dynasty, and since it has been repaired and maintained several times, such as repairing anything that has been torn down, you can look into the architectural history of the Joseon Dynasty. This is because the methods and materials for each renovation work are different.

When this fortress was initially completed, it was during the reign of King Taejo in 1396. It was completed twice in total, and the next repair was made during the reign of King Sejong, the 2th king of Joseon. For example, in the reign of King Taejo, fortresses on flat land were made of clay, but in the time of King Sejong, they are replaced with stones. Since then, kings such as King Sukjong and Sunjo have carried out repairs several times, so we can see traces of them.

It has a total length of 18.6 km and has been designated as Historic Site No. 10. As in other countries, many parts were lost and destroyed during modernization, but now about 70% of them have been restored.

(2) Boundary of Hanyang City Wall

In the Joseon Dynasty, the inside of the fortress was called Hanyang, and the outside of the fortress was called Hanseong. The city wall of Hanyang also served as a boundary line separating Hanyang from Hanseong. And in that city, there will be 4 gates and 4 rumors of Seoul. 4 gates means 4 large gates. 4 Rumors means 4 small gates.

In addition, Hanyang City Wall is not only flat, but also has fortresses piled up on the mountains. So, you can see the Hanyang City Wall from the four mountains in the inner part of Seoul.

As you can see in the photo above, the city road surrounds the Hanyang area.

According to the original meaning, there should be a city wall next to Heunginjimun. However, currently, it is a bit difficult to restore everything realistically because buses or vehicles have to go there.

(3) Hanyang City Wall Stamp Tour

As I said before, we like to hike, so we tried to participate in the Hanyang City Wall Stamp Tour. This program is a program where you can get a stamp at a designated place while walking through the Hanyang City Wall. I and my party, who were not usually interested in history, thought that this program could be an educational trip, so I tried to challenge it. However, it was not possible due to time constraints.

After stamping in 4 designated locations, you will receive a finish badge. This finish badge will become something iconic. For more information, please visit the official website of Seoul City Wall. Below is the contact information and detailed information for the operating branch.

Go to Seoul Hanyang City Wall Homepage

2. Mt. Inwang with tiger energy

(1) How to get to Inwangsan

Inwangsan is one of the most visited mountains in Seoul, and it is well maintained and easy to get to. The height is about 340m and the difficulty is not too difficult. The burden is low as the round trip is possible within 3 hours for an average adult.

There are several ways to climb to the top of Inwangsan, but we chose the course with the lowest difficulty to conserve stamina. The most difficult courses are:

< Gyeongbokgung Station Exit 1 - Jarak-gil - Tiger Statue - Entrance - Beombawi - Inwangsan Peak>

First of all, go out from Exit 1 of Gyeongbokgung Station. As soon as you get out of Exit 1, you will see a sign that guides you to Inwangsan Jarak-gil. You will have to walk quite a long time following this milestone. As you pass the community center, you will see a staircase that leads you to the top, and if you go up the stairs, you will find the footpath of Inwangsan Mountain.

The total distance of Inwangsan Jarakgil is about 2km, and you can see cherry blossoms in spring and autumn leaves in autumn. It is characterized as being suitable for walking enough to be called 'Inwangsan Jarakgil Health Trail'. After passing the tiger statue, you will see a hiking trail leading to the top of Inwangsan Mountain.

Before starting the trek in earnest, the road to the entrance may be difficult for beginners, so it is recommended to bring plenty of water and snacks to drink before climbing.

(2) Hwang Hakjeong National Palace Exhibition Hall

If you walk along the Jarak-gil, you can see it shortly after the introductory part. As the name suggests, it is a place where you can experience traditional Korean archery. Hwanghakjeong was built in Gyeonghuigung Palace in 1899 by Emperor Gojong himself. After that, I came to this place. The name Hwanghakjeong was given because the appearance of Emperor Gojong shooting an arrow resembles a crane.

In addition to the archery experience, there are things to see such as making a bow and an exhibition hall, and the admission fee is 2,000 won. I think that you can make good memories with your family because you can experience archery when you are 7 years old or older.

Currently, due to the circumstances of the facility, archery experience cannot be done individually, and only group reservations are possible. The bow making experience is said to be 25,000 won including the cost of materials.


(3) Journey to the top of Inwangsan

The road to Inwangsan was not so easy. I said that I like mountain climbing, but I am not a good climber. I was a little regretful that I didn't bring extra clothes because I sweat a lot on the way, but as I got to the top of the mountain, I realized why people go to Inwangsan.

  1. The best places to take pictures in Inwangsan

'Beombawi Rock' is the place where people take the most photos. This is because you can see the panoramic view of downtown Seoul with your back to the rocks. People line up to take pictures, so you need to take a picture quickly before leaving. Also, I think being able to see the entire Gyeongbokgung Palace is one of the charms.

 2. Why Inwangsan has tiger energy

There are two reasons why tigers are related to Mt. Inwang.

First, because Mt. Inwang is to the west of the king, it has the energy of a white tiger. Gyeongbokgung Palace, the center of the Joseon Dynasty, was also the residence of the king. As mentioned above, there are four mountains in Seoul: Bukaksan in the north, Namsan in the south, Naksan in the east, and Inwangsan in the west. From our point of view of Gyeongbokgung Palace, Inwangsan will be to the west, but Inwangsan will be on the right when the King looks towards Gwanghwamun. In terms of feng shui, if the left blue dragon and the right white lake are determined centering on the main mountain, Baegaksan, then Inwangsan has the energy of a white tiger.

Second, tigers actually lived in the Joseon Dynasty. There were also many casualties caused by tigers. Among them, Mt. Inwang was famous for its large number of tigers. It is recorded that the last tiger in the city of Hanyang was caught in Bukaksan in 1868.

 3. Inwangsan with a beautiful night view 

Inwangsan is a great place to visit during the day, but it is even more beautiful at night. Not a lot of people go there to see the night view, so I hope you all give it a try too. One caveat is to bring a flashlight, water, and snacks.

The app I recommend here is the 'Luke' is an application called.

When you go up the mountain, you must have experienced difficulties because there is no Wi-Fi, so communication is not good.

This app seems to be a pretty decent app because it allows you to view maps without internet access.

3. Concluding

Seoul's Hanyang City Wall is definitely an attractive tourist attraction for foreigners. Because it is a type of castle that cannot be found in the world. In other countries, there are city roads or fortress roads like this, but it is because they are not that old. In addition, it can be said that it is nature-friendly because it is a city built without cutting the mountains and completely preserving its shape. If you have time later, I hope you have a good time by participating in the Hanyang City Wall Stamp Tour.