Exploring Korea’s Historical Heritage: The Top 10 Korean Castles Worth Visiting

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Korea has experienced more than 900 invasions, during these troubled times, Korean fortresses offered protection to its people. The initial fortified structure was constructed around 2 BC using mud and timber. With advancements in technology and knowledge, more sophisticated fortresses were built. The fortresses in Korea differ greatly from their European counterparts. Instead of towering multistoried towers, the majority of fortresses are constructed with high stone walls. The most prominent feature of Korean fortresses is their disc-shaped entry passages leading to the main gates. Although Korean fortresses lack the grand vertical structures of European castles, they are situated horizontally on mountains, offering breathtaking views.

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Most Remarkable Korean Fortresses

Fortresses in Korea encompass much of Korea’s captivating and tumultuous history. While many of the fortresses in Korea have fallen into disrepair, efforts have been made over the years to restore and maintain these historically significant sites.

List of Korean Fortresses

1. Geumjeongsanseong – Largest mountain citadel

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Geumjeongsanseong fortress is the outcome of the awareness gained from past Japanese invasions. As attacks from the sea increased, the need for national defense grew. It was in response to this urgency that Geumjeongsanseong fortress was constructed. It stands as the largest mountain citadel in Korea and offers one of the most breathtaking short hikes in South Korea.

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2. Gongju Gongsanseong Fortress – Constructed To Safeguard Royal Palace

Gongju Gongsanseong Fortress

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When the capital of Baekje Kingdom was relocated to Gongju, Gongsanseong fortress was erected. This fortress on the mountain peak served as a shield for the royal palace for almost sixty-four years. Imnyugak Pavilion, Manharu Pavilion, and the Lotus Pond are some notable highlights within the fortress walls. The site has been restored and now features beautifully manicured gardens, perfect for a leisurely stroll through Korea’s history.

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3. Samnyeon Sanseong Fortress – Three Years Mountain Fortress

Samnyeon Sanseong Fortress

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The Samnyeon Sanseong fortress is referred to as the three years mountain fortress because it took 3 years to construct. This fortress was constructed by the Silla Kingdom and holds significance for the distinctive techniques employed in its construction. The Silla kingdom utilized this fortress to launch attacks on various kingdoms, making it an integral part of Korea’s unification. It is, once again, a typical mountain fortress like most of the Korean palaces. The most notable characteristic of this fortress is the intricate calligraphy etched on the boulder at its entrance.

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Jukju Castle

4. Jukju Castle – The Stonework Fortress

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Jukju Castle is commonly known as the stonework fortress. During the Goryeo period, this castle served as a transportation hub and a military stronghold, effectively defending against multiple attacks from the Mongol army. It allows you to delve into an era when fortresses were crucial for safeguarding the nation. Presently, the castle is encompassed by a flourishing pine forest, further enhancing the castle’s sense of seclusion.

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5. Jinju Castle – Highly Visited Stronghold

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Jinju castle is constructed on the banks of the river Nam and it is the most renovated stronghold in Korea. On the premises of the castle, Jinjo Museum is situated, together with Hoguk Temple, and numerous pavilions. It is one of the most frequented and the most stunning castles in Korea. Acquire knowledge about the renowned Imjin war fought in this castle where 70,000 Koreans lost their lives. Jinjo Museum fundamentally was constructed to pay homage to those who lost their lives, one can observe vintage Korean firearms and monuments for valiant endeavors in the museum.

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6. Hwaseong Fortress – Perfect for Hikers

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Hwaseong Fortress was built from 1794 to 1796 by the Joseon dynasty. The castle is spread over an area of six kilometers with magnificent architecture and hidden entrances. Visit this castle to discover some incredible history that states this entire castle was erected to honor the remains of a Joseon prince. It is also one of the grandest fortresses and a significant tourist site in Korea, which was also chosen as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1997. This castle is popular among hikers as it is surrounded by an extensive network of trails. It is also one of the most exquisite castles in South Korea.

Hwaseong Fortress

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7. Fortress Wall of Seoul – Protecting the city

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Fortification Rampart of Seoul is a sequence of ramparts that encircled the entire city of Seoul to safeguard it from the intruders. The rampart was constructed using rock, timber, and other substances in the year 1396, it extends 18.6 kilometers traversing the crests of four inner mountains which are Baegaksan, Naksan, Namsan, and Inwangsan.

Fortress Wall of Seoul

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8. Namhansanseong Rampart – Holy emblem

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Namhansanseong Rampart is situated 25 kilometers distanced from the southeast of Seoul, South Korea.” The rampart extends 12 kilometers of area in length and shielded an extensive area during Joseon Dynasty. This fortress was also a holy emblem and also a place for military security, for the inhabitants of the Joseon Kingdom. This rampart is once again a mountain rampart of Korea, keeping up with the characteristic.

Namhansanseong Fortress

9. Gom0 Castle – The deserted one

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Gomo Castle is located in Mungyeong town. The Castle has two portals, the southern portal which has been restored along with its adjoining ramparts, and the western portal which remains a little untidy requires a redo as well. The castle stands in seclusion and desolation as of now.

Goma Castle

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10. Busanjinjisenong Rampart – Branch Wall Rampart

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The Busanjinjisenong Rampart is located in Dong district and was previously known as Mangongdae in memory of the Ming dynasty. The rampart was divided into two, the wall-rampart and the parent castle. The substance utilized in constructing this castle was rock, timber, and plaster ramparts.

Busanjinjisenong Fortress

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Observe the history of Korea by exploring the stunning Korean Palaces. Some of them are well-maintained and allure tourists from all around the world. So, go ahead and reserve your getaway to Korea with TravelTriangle.

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