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Suwon History, South Korea

Suwon, situated in northwestern South Korea just south of Seoul, is the capital city and the largest city of Gyeonggi Province. The city traditionally known as “The City of Filial Piety” started its humble roots as a small community in the ancient times and has developed into a key industrial hub, home to the electronics company powerhouse Samsung. Reading through Suwon History will lead you to thinking that it is indeed as successful as that of what transpired in Busan History.

Suwon History - The Early Kingdoms to Early Joseon Dynasty

Suwon has changed names in the course of Korean history for a number of times. During the ancient tribal times, it was called Mosu-guk. In the Three Kingdoms period, the region that occupies the current Suwon and Hwaseong City were then known as Maehol-gun. It was then renamed into Suseong-gun by King Gyeongdeok of the Unified Silla era. Its name was again changed into Suju during the Goryeo Dynasty. Finally in 1413, in the early Joseon Dynasty, the city was formally called Suwon by King Taejon.

Suwon History - Japanese Invasion of Korea and The Construction of Hwaseong Fortress

During the Japanese offensive on Korea in 1592, Commander Yi Kwang directed his men and other joined forces north to Suwon after reconsidering their plan to reclaim the fallen capital Hanseong (Seoul) from the hands of the Japanese.

King Jeongjo attempted to make Suwon the capital city of Korea in the late 18th century, but was unsuccessful. As part of his grand Suwon History endeavor, King Jeongjo ordered the construction of the Hwaseong Fortress in 1794. This walled outpost was designed initially to guard the tomb of the King’s father, Prince Sado.

Suwon History – During the Korean War

The Korean War was a very unfortunate time for the city of Suwon as the city changed hands four times. Soon after the war broke, US forces were tasked to rescue trapped civilians in Suwon and its neighboring town, Gimpo, but the city fell under the North Korean troops.

Defenses were put up along the road between Suwon and Osan, then part of South Korea, a day prior to the first combat fight among the North Koreans and Americans in the Battle of Osan (July 4, 1950). A day after the battle, American troops were forced to retreat southwards as they lost over a hundred soldiers. The North Korean occupation of Osan was impeded by about seven hours. After the war, Suwon ended up under the South Korean government.

On June 23, 1969, Suwon officially became the provincial capital of Gyeonggi Province. Its famous watchtower, Sojangdae, went afire in 1996 and 2006 (for arson), but has since been successfully restored. Now, the remnants of the city’s history never faltered its people. More so, it became an inspiration for other people thus making it as spectacular as the memoirs of Seoul History.

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