[OCTOBER] The Exploration of the Hwaseong Fortress


The Exploration of the Hwaseong Fortress

UNESCO World Heritage: Hwaseong Fortress

Date: October 27(Sat). 2018

Location: Suwon City, Gyeonggi Province

– Contents:
Korean Folk Village Tour
1) UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Nongak Performance Watching
UNESCO World Heritage Hwaseong Fortress Tour
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1) UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, Jultagi, tightrope walking Performance Watching
2) Hwaseong Fortress Tour with a cultural interpreter



Time Content
~09:00 ∙ Meeting and Departure
09:00~10:00 ∙ Seoul à Korean Folk Village
10:00~12:00 ∙ Korean Folk Village Tour
(Nongak and Horseback Martial Arts Performance)
12:00~12:30 ∙ Korean Folk Village à Restaurant
12:30~13:30 ∙ Lunch
13:30~13:40 ∙ Restaurant à Hwaseong Haenggung
14:00~15:00 ∙ Jultagi Performance Watching
15:00~16:00 ∙ Hwaseong Haenggung Tour
16:00~17:00 ∙ Hwaseong Fortress à Seoul




화성 (Hwaseong Fortress)
Suwon Hwaseong Fortress was constructed by king Jeongjo (reigning 1777~1800), the 22nd king of Joseon dynasty (1392-1910) after moving the tomb of his father Sadoseja, There were multiple reasons for constructing the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress. The most important reason was King Jeongjo’s filial piety to his father. But, there were other reasons: his political strategy to eradicate faction struggles and establish the king-led politics; use of it as a fortress of national defense to the south.

Especially, the fortress, the result of the fortress construction technologies of the East and the West based on sufficient researches and meticulous plans, is very important in the respect of architectural history.


화성행궁 (Hwaseong Haenggung)
A haenggung is a temporary palace where the king and royal family retreated to during a war. Hwaseong Haenggung Palace is the largest one of these, use by the Joseon kings since the time of King Jeongjo (r. 1776-1800).

In addition to being used as a shelter during war, King Jeongjo also stayed here during trips to worship at his father’s tomb. The palace was the location of a splendid feast held on the 60th birthday of his mother, Hyegyeonggung Hong, and many other events, including award certificates for successful candidates of special national exams.

King Jeongjo built the new Suwon city, and constructed the city fortress. He had several haenggungs built in major stops on his way to the tomb. Among them, Hwaseong Hanggung was outstandingly the best in its scale and functions.


줄타기 (Jultagi, tightrope walking)
Tightrope walking is a widespread form of entertainment that in most countries focuses purely on acrobatic skill. The traditional Korean performing art of Jultagi is distinctive in that it is accompanied by music and witty dialogue between the tightrope walker and an earthbound clown. Jultagi is performed outside. The tightrope walker executes a variety of acrobatic feats on the rope, along with jokes, mimicry, songs and dance, while a clown engages the tightrope walker in joking banter, and a team of musicians plays music to accompany the entertainment. The tightrope walker starts with simpler feats, gradually moving to more difficult acrobatics, displaying some forty different rope techniques in a performance that can last several hours. Today, tightrope walking performers are frequently invited to local festivals that take place throughout the country, particularly in spring and autumn.


농악 (Nongak, community band music)
Nongak is a popular performing art derived from communal rites and rustic entertainments. It has evolved into a representative performing art of the Republic of Korea, combining a percussion ensemble and sometimes wind instruments, parading, dancing, drama and acrobatic feats. Local Nongak performers clad in colourful costumes perform their music and dance during community events with various purposes, such as appeasing gods, chasing evil spirits, praying for a rich harvest in spring then celebrating it during autumn festivals and fund-raising for community projects. There are distinctive regional styles of Nongak, generally divided among five cultural centres. Within each area, differences exist from one village to another in band composition, performing style, rhythm and costumes. Dancing includes choreographic formations and streamer dances while actors wearing masks and peculiar outfits also perform funny skits. Acrobatics include dish spinning and miming antics by child dancers carried on the shoulders of adult performers. The public becomes familiar with Nongak through observation and participation in its performances, while community groups and educational institutions play an important role in teaching and transmitting the different components. Nongak helps to enhance solidarity and cooperation in the community and establishes a sense of shared identity among community members.


마상무예 (Horseback Martial Arts)
Horseback Archery includes all martial arts fighting with a weapon on the horseback. It is since 4 centry when a stirrup came out that a martial art took form.  It is thought that in Korea, horseback archery was used for hunting animals and displaying along with growing horses since 5~6 BC, with a fine horse coming into being in Buyeo and there were cavalry soldiers using bows arrows, swords and spears and so on. High-speed mounted warfare is a very important part since three kingdoms of ancient Korea and most important martial art in the fastest mobility, information power and an-all out war during wartime. In Goryeo Dynasty martial artists palyed Kyeokgu to practice martial arts, which is assumed to have been transmitted to Goryeo over three kingdoms of ancient Korea as Polo originated from Persia was transfered to Qing Dynasty of China. It is the only sport military officiers enjoyed.