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  • Seoul to Become World’s Only Fortress City in 2014

  • Integrated News SMG 2253

    Seoul Fortress, whose walls extended for 18 kilometers, was constructed by King Taejo of the Joseon Dynasty to protect the capital’s citizens. However, most of the walls were lost to a large extent, and will be reconstructed without any gaps in 2014.

    Bird’s-eye and perspective views of the restored Sungnyemun Gate

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government announced on May 18 that it will link the 5.127km section, which was difficult to restore due to the surrounding roads and houses, from June, and will restore the entire Seoul Fortress by 2014, in a project to be implemented in conjunction with the reconstruction of a 13.5km section of the fortress that is already under way.

    The project will consist in reconstructing entire sections of the original fortress walls from scratch, based on geographical markers for guiding the direction of the fortress. In so doing, the City Government plans to transform Seoul into the world’s only fortress city.

    Once the fortress has been fully reconstructed, the City Government will develop tour courses to enable visitors to appreciate the history and tradition of the Korean capital, and transform them into tourist hotspots.

    If Seoul is reconstructed as the world’s only fortress city by 2014 by this project, the Seoul Metropolitan Government will aim to register the restored historical structure as UNESCO’s World Heritage in 2015.

    The Seoul Metropolitan Government plans to develop diverse tour courses by integrating sections of Seoul Fortress, including the sections of wall on the four ‘inner’ mountains (namely Bugaksan, Naksan, Namsan, and Inwangsan), and the four main gates (Sungnyemun, Sukcheongmun, Heunginmun, and Donuimun) with the hotspots and attractions around them. Furthermore, it plans to strengthen diverse cultural contents using the fortress sections, and thereby provide domestic and foreign tourists with an opportunity to “fully enjoy Seoul Fortress.”

    The City Government expects that, once Seoul Fortress and its traveling paths have been linked with each other to allow visitors to explore it in its entirety and to experience an important feature of Seoul’s 600-year history, while maintaining the existing roads, they will significantly strengthen history, culture, education, and tourism in Seoul, where past and present co-exist harmoniously.