April 13, 2008

화성 (Brilliant Fortress)

(Weeping Cherry Tree - Janganmun 'north gate')

This past week we were fortunate enough to experience what the Koreans call a sandwich day, or a day off in the middle of the week. So, wanting to take full advantage of our holiday, few and far between as they are, we rounded up a group of friends and we all headed down to the brilliant Hwaseong fortress in Suwon, a city 48 km south of Seoul.

(Cross-bow Tower - Rachel, Bridgette, Alison, Jeff, Nate, Jess, and Alicia)

('Romantic' Korean poses under the cherry trees - Alicia, Jess, Bridgette, Alison, Rachel and Vanessa)

Interesting Facts -
  • Hwaseong was built from 1794 to 1796 by King Jeongjo, who is featured on the header of our blog.
  • King Jeongjo constructed the fortress to honor and house the remains of his father, Prince Sado, who was forced to commit suicide by being shut in a rice chest by the previous King.
  • The wall is 6 kilometers in length and four to six meters high.
  • The wall took 700,000 man-hours to build.
  • It cost the national treasury 870,000 nyang, the currency at the time, and 1,500 sacks of rice to pay the workers.
  • King Jeongjo put so much time and effort into the construction of Hwaseong because it was his intent to make Suwon the capital city of Korea. This obviously failed.
  • The fortress was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 1997.
(Only in Korea!!)

(Shhh... don't tell Jen!)

Please note that we do not always pose in such ridiculous manners. We are sporting these stances in the name of education. We are attempting to illustrate and help you to further understand the culture and society that we live within everyday. 'Innocent' and 'romantic' poses are a way of life in Korea. Image is everything over here. These poses say it all.

(They have such small doorways over here.)

(Changnyongmun 'east gate' - Rachel, Jess, Alison, Bridgette, Erik and Alicia)

To find out more check out wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hwaseong_Fortress


righthere.rightnow. said...

Love the posing:) I'm back in the motherland now and able to check out your blog - some amazing pics guys!

Jen said...

Uh oh.... it looks like I've been a victim - again - of the heart cheating.... so tragic!

Rachel & Trevor Olson said...

Jen, I'm sorry to have been the one to break the news :(


Kirstin said...

What is that seatbelt-looking thing Trev's wearing? A harness for your camera?

Rachel & Trevor Olson said...

No...It's just a shoulder bag. Here the site I got it from.