Autumn Tour of Gyeonggi’s Fortresses

Gyeonggi Province has numerous valuable fortresses that have kept their unique history and beauty for long decades.

The fortresses of Gyeonggi Province embody stories of those in past centuries who overcame numerous crises. Today, there is no doubt we are also facing great challenges, but the fortresses stand as a testimony that we will also prevail. That said, enjoy the autumn scenery from Gyeonggi fortresses as we take another look at Korean history.

Gyeonggi’s Best Known Fortress: Namhansanseong Fortress

Namhansanseong Fortress was able to realize a maximum level of defense by using rugged mountains. It was wide enough to encompass a city, and was a bastion to which the royal family and court of the Joseon Dynasty could evacuate in case of an emergency. In recognition of its history representing construction technologies from the 7th to 19th centuries and being the only fortress city planned as a temporary capital in case of emergency, this fortress has been registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Namhansanseong Fortress in Gwangju City
ⓒGyeonggi Province
There are a total of five hiking courses in and around Namhansanseong Fortress. Among them, Course 1 is an ideal way to appreciate the beauty of Namhansanseong Fortress. Beyond the winding walls, visitors can see not only Gwanaksan Mountain and Bukhansan Mountain, but also panoramic views. With loved ones, visitors can enjoy a light walk near the fortress instead of the hiking course itself. What is special about this fortress is that there are many renowned restaurants in the vicinity, not to mention how easy it is to access via public transportation.

Global Gateway during the Three Kingdoms Period: Dangseong

Dangseong Fortress is located on the road from Jeongok Port, now famous for a marina, to the mainland. Although it was built on a low mountain with a height of 158m, this fortress still overlooks the surrounding sea and is a key point where the kingdoms of Baekje, Goguryeo, and Silla fought fiercely for domination. At first, it was Baekje's territory, but it was named Gangseong-gun when Goguryeo occupied it. Later, Silla occupied it, laying a foundation for the unification of the three kingdoms.
Dangseong in Hwaseong City
ⓒGyeonggi Province
Dangseong Fortress consists of a primary fortification surrounding the peak and a secondary fortification surrounding the valley. For hiking, the course that proceeds along the wall, passes through the secondary fortification and Seomunji, and leads to the top of Manghaeruji is recommended. At Manghaeruji, the panoramic scenery is excellent.

Dazzling Osan in the Fall: Doksanseong Fortress

Doksanseong Fortress is the first place in Osan City to welcome autumn. There are no large mountains around it, so it makes an ideal observatory in Osan with an open view. The road that goes uphill to the fortress is a fairly long, and the path from the entrance of Doksanseong Fortress to Bojeoksa Temple is particularly steep, but the autumn scenery that can be seen in Dongtan New Town and Suwon City from Doksanseong Fortress is breathtaking. With a total circumference of 1.1km, this small fortress can be comfortably explored within an hour.
Doksanseong Fortress in Osan City
ⓒGyeonggi Province

Battleground of Byeonginyangyo: Munsusanseong Fortress

Munsusanseong Fortress guarded the road along Ganghwa during the Joseon Dynasty. This was also the site of a battle with French forces at the time of Byeonginyangyo. Due to the inferiority of the defenders’ weapons, both the coastal walls and gate towers of the fortress were destroyed. Currently, the south and north gates of Munsusanseong Fortress have been restored, and the walls along the ridge of Munsusanseong Fortress have been preserved.
Munsusanseong Fortress in Gimpo City
ⓒGyeonggi Province
The magnificent appearance of the north gate is impressive by itself, but the autumn scenery around the quiet village and Yeomhagang River is also captivating. Munsusan Mountain is called "Geumgangsan Mountain in Gimpo" because of its well-maintained hiking trails and the splendid vistas that can be enjoyed throughout all four seasons.

Haengjusanseong Fortress: Strategic Fortress of the Han River

The history of Haengjusanseong Fortress dates back to the Three Kingdoms Period. When Baekje forces occupied the Han River area, Goguryeo forces camped at Deokyangsan Mountain and achieved victory. Later, during the Imjin War, Haengjusanseong Fortress once again emerged as a strategic fortress.
Haengjusanseong Fortress in Goyang City
ⓒGyeonggi Province
Even during the Korean War, Haengjusanseong Fortress was the first place where UN forces crossed the Han River to recover Seoul shortly after the Incheon Landing Operation. It was a decisive battlefield in overcoming a national crisis.

Haengjusanseong Fortress is now a cultural and tourist attraction in Goyang City that draws numerous visitors.

A Rising Hot Spot: Pasaseong

Pasaseong Fortress is a strategic hub near the Namhan River. It served as a stepping stone for the Silla Kingdom's entry into the Han River basin and ahs served as a key defense facility for Gyeonggi's defense since the Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592. Today, it is emerging as a hot spot in Yeoju City. Recently, photos of Pasaseong have been trending on social media, and the number of young couples visiting this site has been steadily increasing.
Pasaseong in Yeoju City
ⓒGyeonggi Province
Although there is a low mountain path that is 200m above sea level, it takes some effort to climb to Pasaseong Fortress, especially as the mountain path from the parking lot to the entrance is steep. However, after entering Pasaseong Fortress, the atmosphere is completely different. Starting at the entry point to Dangnam-ri Island, visitors can enjoy a hiking trail along a course that goes around Pasaseong Fortress.

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Gyeonggido-Korea (경기도): Autumn Tour of Gyeonggi’s Fortresses
Autumn Tour of Gyeonggi’s Fortresses
Gyeonggi Province has numerous valuable fortresses that have kept their unique history and beauty for long decades.
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