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Cultural Heritage Sites print

Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage


The Hwaseong Fortress was listed as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 1997. In spite of its relatively short history of a little more than 200 years and the destruction of the original structure during the Japanese oppression and the Korean War, the Hwaseong Fortress, reconstructed in its original state in 1979, was granted UNESCO designation. The title was possible due to the existence of the "Hwaseongseongyeokuigwe" (Records of Hwaseong Fortress Construction). The "Hwaseongseongyeokuigwe" had recorded all the architectural and engineering procedures employed in the construction of the Hwaseong Fortress, including pictures of the structural design, dimensions of the structure, use and source of the materials, and other minute details of the project. It is amazing that one old book, the "Hwaseongseongyeokuigwe", could make the reconstruction of the Fortress to its original shape so easy.

The engineers of today strictly followed the directions presented in the "Hwaseongseongyeokuigwe," starting with finding the right type of soil to produce the original shape and quality of bricks. After the bricks were made, they were used to build part of the walls of the fortress as described in the document. It may be the first case in which a completely destroyed historic monument was rebuilt based solely on written records. The completeness of the "Hwaseongseongyeokuigwe", filled with scientific information of great detail, made the structure’s designation as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site possible. The Korean government followed the steps and procedures presented in the "Hwaseongseongyeokuigwe" to the letter and completed the reconstruction project in 1978, two years after the commencement of the project.



Hwaseong Fortress, the world’s first planned city
Unveiling the secrets of the Hwaseong Fortress
Hwaseong Fortress, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage
Surveying the Hwaseong Fortress/ Spending time on the Hwaseong Fortess