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Namhansansong
(Provinsial Park)

- the Southern Mountain Fortress -






The Namhansansong Provincial Park has most likely not been designated a nature park due to its scenic beauty, but more likely due to the magnificent historical mountain fortress Namhansansong.
That does not mean that the scenery is bad, but it simply cannot compete with those breathtaking views that can be found in other Korean National- and Provincial Parks.
However,- what Mother Nature did not accomplish, was certainly compensated for by the activities of the Korean fortress and wall builders - - -

This impressing mountain fortress was built with the main purpose of protecting Korea from the Manchus, but when the attack finally came, not even these massive walls could not stop the advancing Manchu army!
In 1637 the fortress fell to the Manchu army, and Korea was forced to accept the Chinese Emperor as supreme ruler.

All this is history now, - but the walls and gates of this massive fortress still stand to this day.
The total length of the wall is about 8 kilometres, which should make it possible to walk around the entire length of the wall in one go, - but just like all other things in life, it is much better to do it more slowly, so that you do not overdraw your time-account too much and thereby becoming restless and loosing the "feeling" of the real world around you  - - -
Therefore I visited the fortress several times at different seasons, and the following pictures are a mixture from two of those visits.
As you can see, the Namhansansong wall could remind of the real thing,- the Great Wall of China -, as it twists and turns along the mountain slopes, valleys and peaks.

The western part of the wall is beautifully restored, and this is where you find the tourist groups, who can easily walk the restored section during a day trip, leaving time for a lunch at the tourist service area, before the bus returns to Seoul.
However,- the eastern part is still not restored and lies partly in ruins.
This part is for me more interesting, - somehow ruins seems to "talk" to me -, and the best thing is that no tourists explore this "wild" section, which means that you have it all to yourself, - and it is fantastic!

I have decided to split this page in two parts,- the first part the restored section of the wall, - and the second covering the "wild" section still in ruins!
Judge for yourself which one is best!  :-)
 
 



Namhansansong
- one of the fortress gates, - Tong Mun -, the East Gate -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- the wall, - as it twists and turns its way over the mountains -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- a historical wall, - and a great place for a picnic -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- this is Nam Mun, - the South Gate -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 
 


Namhansansong
 - Nam Mun, - the South Gate -, from road level -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
 - a look through Nam Mun -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
 How are door halves on a fortress gate hinged??? Well, - look here and see -
Take note of the metal cladding on the door.
Well, - look here and see!
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- back to the wall, - twisting and turning across the mountain -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- another view from the wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- the wall, - like a giant snake -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- detail -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- the wall, - beautifully restored to its former glory -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- almost appearing like new -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- one of the four command posts, - the Suojangdae -, at the highest point of the fortress -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 
 


Namhansabsong
- along the fortress wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- the wall and the watch tower of So Mun, - the West Gate -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- twisting and turning towards the North gate -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- Buk Mun, - the North Gate -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)







Following is a series of pictures taken along the more exiting and partly unrestored section of the wall, between Buk Mun and further on towards Tong Mun, - the East Gate -, and Nam Mun, - the South Gate - - -
The good thing is, that the tourist groups stay away from this part of the wall, - you have it all to yourself -, and there are days and days of exiting exploring to do between the ruins scattered over the mountain sides - - -
 
 




Namhansansong
- an unrestored section of the wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- the trail along the crumbling wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- a section of the wall under resoration -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- along the wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- along the wall - twisting and turning -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- detail, - a hole in the wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- view from the other side of the hole in the wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Namhansansong
- and a look back to the hole in the wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Namhansanong
- suddenly coming to a beautifully restored section of the wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Namhansansong
- view over the ruins of the wall between the east gate and the south gate -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 


Namhansansong
- another great view of the unrestored wall -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- a view over the ruins of a still untouched advanced position -
Take note of the tomb site to the right in the picture.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 
 


Namhansansong
- a closer, - and final -,  look at the Southern Mountain Fortress -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen)
 
 

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  Updated:  June 23rd. 2003
                 March 03. 2005
                 April 17. 2005
                 March 06.2008