Hanyangdoseong, better known as Seoul city wall, Historic Site. No. 10, is the most monumental of the Korean town walls, a wall that once ringed the new capital of Joseon dynasty, Hanyang, snaking up and down the ridges of four surrounding main mountains, and flatland valleys. The Seoul city wall has been repaired and reconstructed several times since its initial fortification in 1396, under the order of King Taejo (founder of the Joseon dynasty). It measures between 5 and 8m high and used to be an 18.6 km wall that served as a safeguard for the capital over 500 years. The wall was punctuated by four major gates, positioned in accordance with Pungsu (Feng shui), and four sub-gates, of which six remain. In addition, two water gates were built to transfer water from Cheonggyecheon Stream outside of the wall.
There are many activities to do and sites to see within visiting the wall. Here are the five top reasons why you don't want to miss visit Hanyangdoseong:
1- Korean rich history is engraved in the wall.
The succession of the architecture and its development during the three kingdoms period is preserved in Hanyangdoseong. In some parts, the whole process of technological progress can be seen clearly during the time -stone blocks in different sizes and shapes. 197,400 men were gathered from different suburb areas to build the wall in following distinct sections with inscribed records on stone blocks of the wall. Although, during the Japanese colonial period and also country's modernization the Hanyangdoseong lost a large part of its original appearance, as of 2014, nearly 70% of the entire wall has been rebuilt. Of the oldest and longest city walls, in some parts, this is still alive as a part of Seoul’s defense system.
In addition to the wall and its gates, there are also other tourist attractions around including historical villages like Ihwa or museums like Seoul City Wall Museum- where you can learn a lot about the wall- and more.
2- To discover more about the futuristic culture of Koreans
The Seoul city wall adheres to the local topography. King Taejo chose the area due to its outstanding Pungsu (Feng shui) properties, the northern area protected with mountains and the Hangang river passing its southern part. The long-held Korean tradition of respect for nature is preserved in this wall as well. Constructing the wall in this way, therefore, has made it a part of the regional natural environment today. As a result of Korean enthusiasm to protect the historical and natural landscapes and to hand it to the next generations, the site was registered on UNESCO’s world heritage tentative list on 12th, Nov 2012.
3- Melded with four splendid mountains, the wall of Hanyang offers attractive scenery.
Whether day or night, walking up or downward the wall and every season visiting the wall, the panoramic view of a modern city embraced this old father is magnificent. An elegant harmony with nature and history, modernity with tradition is formed in front of your eyes walking along this place.
At the end of the day, an immense sunset scene is formed in front of you. Then you can walk through under the moonlight, although the lights on the walls are turned on as well. You can take a photo, paint it or just watch and enjoy it.
4- Visiting Hanyangdoseong for health.
No matter if you want to have a hike, walk or even meditation. Having a map and investigating the different trails of the wall, you can choose a section for your specific purpose or hike the entire length of the wall.
A day free of a modern city vibration but inside the same, you can relax, have fun with friends do your exercise as you are learning about Seoul history. Due to the highly accessible location of the wall to the city you can also have some stops to have Koran dishes or freshen up having coffee in coffee shops around.
5- To watch an elegant image of never-give-up fast-moving Koreans.
Not very far from the wall, You find yourself in the middle of the innovative structures such as Dongdaemun Design Plaza by Zaha Hadid. Once upon a time walls were needed for defense the reign, and now industrial signs of progress of a country stop the invaders with invisible but strong walls. Today lots of the largest skyscrapers, some of the world's most leading companies including Samsung, Hyundai, and Kia are built on the territory based on a power that once had made the city walls such as Hanyangdoseong.