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Hwaseomun Gate

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Hwaseomun Gate

Hwaseomun Gate, the west gate of Suwon Hwaseong Fortressn, features almost the same structure as Changnyongmun Gate marked by a three-kan by two-kan pavilion-style building (kan being a unit of measurement referring to the distance between two columns, roughly 3.3 square meters) erected on a granite base with an arched entrance at the center. It is designed with a hip-and-gable roof and a semi-circular wall built with bricks to provide added protection. North of the gate-guard wall is the observation tower Gongsimdon (lit. “hollow tower”) projected from the curtain wall. The tower contains staircases designed for an easy maneuvering between floors and loopholes that permit the use of guns and arrows to cover all approaches to the tower, making the fortress a more powerful military stronghold. A structure such as this tower is rarely seen in other historic fortifications in Korea and, in addition to its defensive function, contributes to the beautiful landscapes of the fortress.

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