On a previous trip to Seoul I became very interested in the old city gates and city walls. A couple of the largest gates are famous and are close to the city centre. But the smaller gates and surviving sections of the wall don't seem to be well known at all.

I've seen the wall referred to by various names including "Seoul Fortress", "Fortress Wall of Seoul", "Hanyangdoseong", "Seoulseonggwak", and even "The Great Wall of Seoul".

Its Wikipedia article only mentions its history, no maps, no tourist info.

Most of the useful info I can find is in various blog posts: one from 2009, one from 2010. Maps seem to be impossible to find, especially ones which show the location of the walls along with locations of roads or the subway system. And even pasting placenames from the blogs into Google Maps usually doesn't help.

I know there is one part of the wall recently opened for hiking but it required you to bring a passport and is closed at 3pm.

What I'm looking for are the lesser known parts of the walls, no matter their condition. Many of the backpacker and guesthouse style accommodations are in the Hongdae area of Seoul and I like walking random streets. If any part of the wall is within about two hours walk from Hongdae that's what I'm looking for. Asking locals doesn't seem to work because they don't understand why I would walk rather than take the subway.

  • 1
    Is this also known as the Hwaseong Fortress??
    – Mark Mayo
    Nov 5, 2012 at 2:43
  • No that's another one - I hadn't heard of it and it looks beautiful. Now I only have about a day and a half left and rain has set in though (-: Nov 5, 2012 at 3:47
  • blast, that was only about 10km from you :)
    – Mark Mayo
    Nov 5, 2012 at 4:00
  • I'm checking the weather for tomorrow (-: Nov 5, 2012 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


Well I'm pretty sure I found it by pure coincidence about a week ago on my way bag from a many-hours-long random walk around Seoul.

From Hongdae it turns out you can walk pretty much directly East following the sun if it's morning or away from the sun if it's afternoon. If you do that following the bigger roads you'll tend slightly North but you'll end up coming toward the main entrance of Gyeongbokgung palace from the side.

On the way back for variety I came a different way, also randomly and in the dark. This is where I found myself:

Seoul Fortress with signs

This part of the wall is obviously a pretty recent reconstruction and might not even be very accurate but it's obviously in pretty much the original place. There's a path going steeply up the hill and the wall did connect the tops of the four mountains surrounding Seoul's old centre.

The only problem is the signs are all in Korean and translating the labels is not giving me much helpful other than "current location", "Culture and Sports Center", and the name of a church, none of them turned up anything definitive searching Google Maps in English or Korean. The location is the tip of the bottom left point of the dark area on the map but I'm almost certain that North is not at the top of the map - it's rotated for best fit. Here's a close-up of the map which shows this edge of the wall along with the modern roads etc:

Map with modern context

There was also this schematic map of just the wall without any details of the modern city, also only in Korean:

Schematic map of whole wall

I'm uncertain of the position on this map though the bottom end of the red line seems sensible.

If anybody can pinpoint this location from the maps and the Korean labels it would be greatly appreciated.

As it was late and cold and I didn't expect to be here I didn't follow the wall path up the hill because it was the wrong direction for getting home. But as I headed off I finally found one sign in English:

English tourist sign pointing to Seoul fortress wall

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