Suwon South Korea, the Metropolitan City with Magical Stories

APRIMITIVPLACE – Suwon, a metropolitan city located south of Seoul, South Korea, is not only known for its majestic Hwaseong Fortress and exciting Everland amusement park. Behind its modern glamour, Suwon also holds a rich cultural heritage and mythology, whispering tales of the past that are both imaginative and thought-provoking. Let’s explore these mystical traces and uncover the fascinating history of Suwon mythology.

Legend of Paldang Lake

The existence of Suwon cannot be separated from the great legend of Paldang Lake. According to legend, in ancient times, the Suwon region was hit by a long drought. The people suffered, the crops withered, and life was threatened. A monk named Hyemin was determined to save them.

He climbed Mount Gwanggyosan and meditated for 100 days, praying for rain from the gods. Finally, the sky split open, and heavy rain fell for 49 days, filling the valley that later became Paldang Lake.

The clear and tranquil lake water has since become a symbol of fertility and hope, and has been immortalized in various Suwon folk tales.

Story of Gwanggaeto, the Great King of Baekje

Suwon is also home to the legacy of the Baekje Empire, one of the ancient Korean kingdoms that once flourished. Gwanggaeto, the legendary ruler of Baekje, was known for his successful military campaigns that extended as far as the Liaodong Peninsula in China. According to legend, he once lived in Suwon Fortress and used it as a military base to expand Baekje’s territory. Although the historical accuracy of this legend is still debated, the story of Gwanggaeto lives on in the memories of the people of Suwon, becoming a symbol of courage and greatness.

Myth of the Weaving Grandmother

At the foot of Mount Manisan stands an old temple called Wolbongsa. According to legend, this temple was founded by a pious weaving grandmother. The grandmother lived in the mountains and weaved beautiful silk fabrics for the gods.

One day, a king came and forced the grandmother to weave cloth for him. Because she refused, the grandmother was buried alive. However, miraculously, the bamboo planted on her grave grew into a tree that produced golden silk thread.

The story of the weaving grandmother is a reminder of purity, perseverance, and the indestructible power of the spirit.

Spiritual Beings and Traditional Rituals

The people of Suwon also have beliefs in spiritual beings such as dokkaebi (mischievous troublemakers) and hwangdog (golden dogs that bring good luck). Various traditional rituals are still performed to appease these beings and seek their protection.

For example, on the night of Lunar New Year, the people of Suwon place rice cakes and fruits in front of their homes for the dokkaebi, hoping they will not disturb them.

Living Cultural Heritage

Suwon mythology is more than just a collection of old fairy tales. These stories are kept alive through traditional arts such as dance and music, as well as festivals held throughout the year. For example, the Hwaseong Festival features parades and performances that depict the legends and history of Suwon.

In this way, these myths serve as a bridge that connects the past and the present, keeping Suwon’s cultural heritage alive and relevant for future generations.

Suwon mythology is an integral part of the city’s history and culture. These stories continue to be passed down from generation to generation, taking us back in time and teaching us about the values and beliefs that are important to the people of Suwon.

Exploring the mystical traces of Suwon means uncovering the hidden treasures of its culture and discovering the unexpected charm of a metropolitan city that, behind its modern glamour, harbors magical stories.

Places of Interest in Suwon Related to Mythology

  • Paldang Lake: This lake is located in the center of Suwon and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. On the shore of the lake, there is a small temple called Paldangsa that was built to honor monk Hyemin.
  • Hwaseong Fortress: This fortress is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the symbol of Suwon. According to legend, the fortress was built by order of King Jeongjo to protect the tomb of his father, King Yeongjo.
  • Mount Gwanggyosan: This mountain is located to the north of Suwon and is one of the most popular natural tourist destinations in the city. On the mountain, there is a temple called Gwanggyosan that was founded by monk Hyemin.
  • Wolbongsa Temple: This temple is located at the foot of Mount Manisan and is the site where the myth of the weaving grandmother took place. At the temple, there is