Bell of Hyowon, the hidden jewel of Paldalsan Mountain

Createdd 2016-01-20 Hit 1457


◇ Bell of Hyowon located next to Seojangdae ⓒ Park Seong-joon/ Dream Tree Reporters

A new year has arrived. The year 2016 has been designated “The Year to Visit Suwon Hwaseong Fortress.” Apart from Hwaseong Haenggung Palace, Suwon has various exciting and meaningful tourist attractions. Most tourists come to Suwon to either visit Hwaseong Haenggung Palace and ride the Hwaseong Train, or to take part in the Gukgung (Korean Traditional Archery) activity. This time, however, I would like to recommend that you to go to Seojangdae and strike the Bell of Hyowon, the hidden jewel of Paldalsan Mountain.

◇ On the way to Seojangdae of Paldalsan Mountain ⓒ Park Seong-joon/ Dream Tree Reporters

There is a story about Paldalsan Mountain and Yi Go, who was a scholar during Goryeo Dynasty during the reign of King Gongmin. Yi Go stepped down from his position and went to live at the foot of this mountain. When King Gongyang sent a messenger to ask how he was faring, Yi Go answered, “The scenery of Tapsan Mountain behind my house is very beautiful. When I climb up the mountain, I have a good view in all four directions. Nothing blocks my view and heart, which makes me feel pleased.”

King Taejo of Joseon Dynasty recommended Yi Go for a position in the palace, but Yi Go rejected the offer. King Taejo ordered a painter to bring him a drawing of Tapsan Mountain. After looking at the drawing, the king said, “It is truly a mountain that provides a good view in all directions.” This is why the mountain is now called Paldalsan Mountain. “Paldal” means in all directions.

We climbed up to Paldalsan Mountain. Before climbing up, the mountain didn’t look so high. But once I arrived to its peak, it provided a beautiful view of all of Suwon City. 

◇ The view of Suwon City from the peak of Paldalsan Mountain Seojangdae ⓒ Park Seong-joon/ Dream Tree Reporters

After enjoying the view of Suwon City, I moved to Seojangdae. “Jangdae” means a command post from which a general can get a full view of the fortress and its surroundings, and give commands to soldiers outside of the fortress. 

◇ Seojangdae of Suwon Hwaseong Fortress ⓒ Park Seong-joon/ Dream Tree Reporters

Suwon Hwaseong Fortress has Seojangdae and Dongjangdae. In the past, King Jeongjo watched military training exercises, and issued commands at Seojangdae. After looking around Seojangdae, I heard the beautiful sound of a bell. So I went to where the sound came from, and there was Bell of Hyowon. This is a bell of filial piety. You can strike it three times after paying a fee.

The first strike conveys respect to your parents.

The second strike is a wish for your family’s health.

The third strike is to ensure your dreams come true.

I struck the bell while making these wishes. 

◇How about making a new year’s wish while striking the Bell of Hyowon? ⓒ Park Seong-joon/ Dream Tree Reporters

The Bell of Hyowon is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm. To strike the bell, there is a ticket to buy, which is KRW 1,000 for 1-2 people, and KRW 2,000 won for 3-4 people.

The bell will not ring unless you hit it with sufficient strength. I also rang the bell, and it wasn’t easy to strike it accurately. A staff member from the ticket office said, “You need to strike it hard and accurately.”

I recommend that you go to ring the Bell of Hyowon for the health of your family and yourself for the New Year, and explore other tourist attractions in Suwon.

ⓒ Gyeonggi G-News | Park Sung-Joon