The Fortress Wall
One of my favorite things to do in Korea is to go out and explore new things. However, on Saturday’s adventure I was able to bring a few friends with me. It made for a nice change, since I was going some place a little farther than I usually go… and it required some extra “off the metro line” excursion. What I didn’t take into consideration was the amount of traffic this weekend. To give you an idea, what normally is a short 20-minute drive from Seoul, took just about 3 hours. Getting to Namhansanseong was just as rough, since the 30km drive took a few hours as well. It was rough, but well worth it.
Namhansanseong (남한산성) is a massive mountain fortress just outside of Seoul to the south east. During the fortress’ time of use, it had walls spanning nearly 10km, 125 military barracks, and numerous temples. What makes this fortress special, is that it is probably the best example of Korean fortress design. It had the signature four main gates, dual signal fires, numerous secret gates, etc. While restoration of the fortress walls is still underway, the temples within the interior walls offer some great hiking destinations.
In fact, there are several trails along the fortress walls and to each of the temples. Hikers can also take advantage of the natural spring water that is still being pumped to the surface… and on a hot day like it was, that cold water really hit the spot. It makes for a nice treat when walking through the historical grounds that managed to hold off Manchurian invaders for 45 days in 1636.
For more pictures, take a look at the album.