Hanyang Fortress is a fortification built to mark the boundaries of Hanyangbu, the capital of the Joseon Dynasty, revealing its authority and defending against external invasions. Constructed along the ridges of Baegak (Bugaksan), Naktasan (Naksan), Mokmyeok (Namsan), and Inner Sasan (four inner mountains of the city) in the 5th year of King Taejo (1396), it underwent several reconstructions. With an average height of about 5-8 meters and a total length of approximately 18.6 km, Hanyang Fortress performed its function as a fortress for the longest time (1396-1910, 514 years) among the existing fortresses worldwide.
Hanyang Fortress has four main gates and four small gates. The four main gates, clockwise from the north, are Sukjeongmun, Heunginjimun, Sungnyemun, and Donuimun. The four small gates, clockwise from the northwest, are Changui Gate, Hyehwamun, Gwanghuimun, and Soeumun. Donuimun and Soeumun have been lost. Additionally, to connect water routes outside the fortress, Heunginjimun was equipped with Ogansu Gate and Igansu Gate to the south.
While it’s possible to explore Hanyang Fortress along the Seonggak-gil in a day, it’s recommended to walk it in sections due to the considerable distance.
“Hanyang Fortress Wall Path, Namsan Section 3 Course”
The Namsan section of the Hanyang Fortress Wall Path is a course that extends from Sungnyemun to Jangchung Gymnasium. Covering a total distance of about 4.2 km, it takes approximately 3 hours. While it would be great to trek the entire course on a sunny day, walking for 3 hours straight might be challenging.
“Hanyang Fortress Wall Path, Dasan Seonggak-gil”
Within the Namsan section of the Hanyang Fortress Wall Path, there is Dasan Seonggak-gil. Passing through Dasan-dong on the way to the Hanyang Fortress Wall Path through Aksu Station, it’s a charming place where you can find colorful murals in the narrow alleys.
Dasan-dong takes its name from Dasan Jeong Yakyong, a scholar from the late Joseon period. Following the steep path along Dasan’s alley, you can ascend to Dasan Seonggak-gil.
I personally visited to find Dasan Seonggak Library. Coming from home, Vertigogae Station on Subway Line 6 was the nearest station. However, as the path from Vertigogae Station to Dasan Seonggak-gil involves uphill walking, it’s more comfortable to approach from Aksu Station.
“Enjoyable Stroll on Hanyang Fortress Dasan Seonggak-gil”
Crossing Dasan-dong to reach Dasan Seonggak-gil, there were no more hills to climb. I could leisurely stroll along the gently sloping path while enjoying the scenery of Seoul.
The landscape somewhat resembled Busan’s Gamcheon Culture Village, especially if you see the distant sea. It felt like a view not much different from Busan, known as the “Machu Picchu of Korea.”
Following the fortress path reveals a charming route. Especially on a sunny day, it’s a great place for a leisurely stroll. Walking along the fortress path, Dasan-dong residents were frequently seen. Experiencing such scenery in everyday life imparts a romantic feeling.
“Silla Hotel – Connecting to Jangchung Gymnasium on Dasan Seonggak-gil”
Continuing along Dasan Seonggak-gil towards Aksu Station, the Silla Hotel came into view. While it’s a walking course partly within the premises of the Silla Hotel, access beyond the low wall was restricted.
On one side, there’s the Silla Hotel; on the other, Dasan Seonggak-gil. Behind them, the panorama of Seoul unfolds. Living on high ground seems to offer such charm.
Especially during the autumn season when the foliage changes color, this route would be exceptionally pleasant. Dasan Seonggak-gil is a course of moderate length, making it suitable for a casual stroll. While walking the course, exploring unique cafes nearby would also be a good idea.
“Seoul Jangchung-dong, Dasan Seonggak-gil”
- Address: Jangchung-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul