Museum #3: Suwon Hwaseong Museum

   If you love history, and are especially interested in Korean history of the Joseon Dynasty, you will love this museum. This is another interesting link for more historical information.

   Chosŏn dynasty, also called Yi dynasty, the last and longest-lived imperial dynasty (1392–1910) of Korea. Founded by Gen. Yi Sŏng-gye, who established the capital at Hanyang (present-day Seoul), the kingdom was named Chosŏn for the state of the same name that had dominated the Korean peninsula in ancient times. The regime is also frequently referred to as the Yi dynasty, for its ruling family. (Source)

Statue of General Yi in Seoul

   If you haven't read my blog post about the Hwaseong Fortress then please take the time to do so. It will give you more insight. 

   I set out early enough in the morning to see a martial arts performance at the Hwaseong Hwaeggung Palace. I took the right bus and got off at the right stop. It was supposed to be a 5-minute walk from there to the palace. Sadly, my GPS kept pointing me to a wall, but not the right wall! After walking around in circles, asking people for directions and returning again to the same place I finally found my way to the palace. I had been walking around in every direction for a little more than an hour. THROW THAT GPS AWAY!!! I thought I was going to die from the heat but I was determined to see a live martial arts show. You can imagine the inner negative emotions that engulfed my wounded soul when I was informed there would be no performances until mid-August. Why? BECAUSE OF THE HEAT!!!! Perhaps someone could have written that in the brochure and on the website? Or did I simply overlook that tiny footnote? 

   Okay. So now what? I'd come this far and I wasn't about to go back to the apartment feeling so disappointed. At this point I felt that if I didn't get into some a/c and have a drink quick it would really be the end of me. (I've since been informed that this has been the hottest summer in years.) I looked around and noticed a cafe nearby. Koreans must love cafes because they are everywhere thank goodness. 

   I sat in the cafe for an hour. It took me that long too get hydrated and feel I could go out walking again. While there I studied a map. I noticed that there was a museum right across the street. I decided that would be my next stop. I'm so glad it was! 

   The Suwon Hwaseong Museum is a specialized museum that was built to showcase the beauty and excellence of Hwaseong, a fortress which seeks the merit of both the eastern and the western construction methods, and which exemplifies the creativity of the Joseon Dynasty, as well as King Joengjo's spirit of reformation to realize his dreams and ideals. (from the brochure)

   Brochure below: 

   The first exhibition is outside as you are coming to the museum. It showcases the early innovations in building and construction of the era. My photos tried to include the description. I hope you can read it, 

   By the way, I learned that you can get free entrance to this museum and to the palace if you are using Kakao Talk. Fortunately I do. Thanks Kakao Talk. 

   I walked up the stairs to the exhibition hall. It's the little things that make me happy - especially on a day like this. As I looked over to my left a huge grin came over my face as I saw this: 

A life-size display of a royal procession. Sigh. 

    As you wander though the exhibition hall you are treated to numerous models of what the palace looked like. There are a few real relics from the time and many stations with explanations of how the fortress was constructed, including the actual books where it's all recorded. You will note many high praises for the king, the architect/designer and the innovations including the military strategies.

   Further along, and much to my delight, there is a video display of the martial arts techniques. Each video clip included a point-by-point illustration of the technique. My heart was satisfied. G-d had provided! 

   Thank you G-d for satisfying my soul on this very hot day in Suwon! Next stop... the PALACE! 


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