Suwon Hwaseong Fortress was the world's first planned city. Hwaseong Fortress is regarded as having been more thoroughly and systematically designed than comparable structures of its time, including those in Saint Petersburg, Russia or Washington, D.C. in the United States.
Hwaseong Fortress, belonging to the Haenggung Palace of the Joseon Dynasty, was constructed for King Jeongjo in 1796. Haenggung is a subsidiary palace which accommodated the King's temporary stays outside the main palace in the capital. Hwaseong Fortress was constructed by King Jeongjo for his stays in the Haenggung when he made visits to the Suwon region to have memorial services for his father, Crown Prince Sadosaeja. Aside from subsidiary palace functions, Hwasung Fortress was also constructed to serve more practical purposes as the second capital of the Joseon Dynasty. King Jeongjo had in fact planned to move into Haneggung of Hwaseong Fortress when he became the supreme King after passing on his throne to his successor. However, with young King Jeongjo's sudden death in 1800, Hwaseong Fortress was forgotten by Koreans.
Hwaseong Fortress stands as a testament to the advancements in technical theories and applications made during the Joseon Dynasty. An enormous amount of money and manpower was used in the project, on a scale unprecedented in magnitude in the history of the Joseon Dynasty. It was an immense civil engineering project which could not have been initiated and completed without King Jeongjo's unique determination.