Situated 25km southeast from the center of the capital city of Seoul, the mountain fortress city of Namhansanseong sits approximately 480m above sea level aligning itself with the ridges of the mountain to maximize its defensive capacity. The fortress encompassing 12km in length protects a vast area utilized as an emergency capital city of the Joseon Dynasty of Korea (1392~1910). With the basis of fortress architecture of East Asia, the fortress embodies the broad exchange between the four countries: Joseon of Korea, Azuchi-Momoyama Period of Japan, Ming and Qing China, especially in the 16th~18th centuries through the continuous wars. The technical development of weaponry and armaments during this period which saw the use of gun powder in military warfare imported from Europe also greatly influenced the architecture and layout of the fortress. Namhansanseong portrays how the various theories of defense mechanisms in Korea were put to form by combining the everyday living environment with defense objectives, embodies the evidence of how Buddhism played an influential role in protecting the State and the fortress became a symbol of sovereignty in Korea. It stands on the Namhansan ("South Han Mountain"), containing fortifications that date back to the 17th century, and a number of temples. It can be accessed easily from Seoul through Namhansanseong Station of Seoul Subway Line 8.
Date of Inscription on the List of UNESCO WHS: 2014
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Sent on: October 30, 2015
Received on: November 16, 2015