Map of Suwon- South Korea
Suwon is the capital and largest metropolis of Gyeonggi-do, South Korea’s most populous province which surrounds Seoul, the national capital. Suwon lies about 30 kilometres (19 miles) south of Seoul. It is traditionally known as “The City of Filial Piety”. With a population close to 1.2 million, it is larger than Ulsan, although it is not governed as a metropolitan city.
Suwon has existed in various forms throughout Korea’s history, growing from a small settlement to become a major industrial and cultural center. It is the only remaining completely walled city in South Korea. The city walls are one of the more popular tourist destinations in Gyeonggi Province. Samsung Electronics R&D center and headquarters are based in Suwon. The city is served by two motorways, the national railway network, and the Seoul Metropolitan Subway. Suwon is a major educational center, home to 11 universities.
Suwon is home to football club Suwon Samsung Bluewings, which have won the K-league on four occasions and AFC Champions League twice. The KT Wiz of the Korea Baseball Organization also plays in Suwon.
Population: 1 288 444(2016)
Language: Korean, Chinese, Mandarin English
In Suwon the local currency used is the South Korean Won.
Suwon lies in the north of the Gyeonggi plain, just south of South Korea’s capital, Seoul. It is bordered by Uiwang to the north-west, Yongin to the east, the city of Hwaseong to the south-west, and also shares a short border with Ansan to the west.
There are a few hills around Suwon. The highest of these is Gwanggyosan to the north, on the border with Yongin, though those to the east are more numerous. Gwanggyosan is 582 metres (1,909 ft) above sea level.
Most of the streams passing through Suwon originate on Gwanggyosan or other nearby peaks. Since Suwon is bounded to the east by other hills, the streams, chiefly the Suwoncheon (and one notable tributary being the Jungbocheon), flow southwards through the city, eventually emptying into the Yellow Sea at Asan Bay. The entirety of Suwon is drained in this manner.
As is true of all the South Korean mainland, there are no natural lakes in Suwon. There are, however, many small reservoirs, namely Seoho (서호) near Hwaseo Station, Ilwon Reservoir (일원 저수지) near Sungkyunkwan University, Bambat Reservoir (밤밭 저수지) near Sungkyunkwan University Station, Ilwang Reservoir (일왕 저수지) in Manseok Park, Pajang Reservoir (파장 저수지) near the North Suwon exit of the Yeongdong Expressway, Gwanggyo Reservoir (광교 저수지) at the foot of Gwanggyosan, Woncheon and Sindae Reservoirs (원천 저수지 & 신대 저수지) near Ajou University 아주대학교, Geumgok Reservoir (금곡 저수지), a small reservoir at the foot of Chilbosan, and the larger Wangsong Reservoir (왕송 저수지), located mainly in the city of Uiwang, but its dam located in Suwon.
At the closest point, being the Chilbosan ridge (239m) to the west on the border with Ansan, Suwon lies 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) from the Yellow Sea coast.
Colleges and universities
There are 11 universities in Suwon and 2 colleges, and these include Sungkyunkwan University’s Natural Sciences Campus, Kyonggi University, Ajou University, Kyunghee University, Dongnam Health College, Gukje Digital University, Hapdong Theological Seminary, and Suwon Women’s College. The University of Suwon is not actually in Suwon, but in the neighbouring city of Hwaseong. The agricultural campus of Seoul National University was located in Suwon until 2005, but is now in Gwanak-gu, Seoul.
There are also 2 junior colleges in Suwon.
Primary and secondary schools
There are 33 high schools, 37 middle schools, 81 primary schools and 107 kindergartens in Suwon.
Suwon has three schools devoted to special education, namely the Jahye Institute, the School of Suwon Seokwang and Dream Tree Special School, and also has wings of mainstream schools for students requiring special education, being the Special Education School of Suwonbuk Middle School, the Special Education School of Suwon Girls’ Middle School.
Gyeonggi Suwon International School
Suwon Zhongzheng Chinese Elementary School
Hwaseong Fortress is Suwon’s most notable attraction. Built in 1796, the entire city used to be encircled by the walls, but now Suwon has expanded beyond this boundary. Hwaseong is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Haenggung Palace, within Hwaseong, is another noteworthy historical attraction. On completion of the Bundang Line extension, Suwon will also be only a few stops from Singal, the location of the Korean Folk Village, and the Everland theme park is nearby in Yongin.
As in most of South Korea, according to 2006 statistics compiled by the government, about 25.3% of the population professes to follow no particular religion. Christians account for 20% of the population and Buddhists 52%. The Catholic Diocese of Suwon was created in 1963 by Pope Paul VI.
Suwon is a regional transportation hub and Suwon Station is an important stop on the Gyeongbu railway line between Seoul and Busan. There is a bus service to the KTX high-speed train station at Gwangmyeong. Suwon is connected to Seoul and other nearby cities by city and express buses with departure points across the city. There are also two bus terminals in Suwon with inter-city and express bus connections to most cities in Korea. These are Suwon Bus Terminal, which is located near ‘Hotel Ramada’ and West Suwon Bus Terminal, which is located near Sungkyunkwan University. KTX trains also make limited number of stops on services from Seoul to Busan.
Suwon has several stations on Seoul Subway Line 1, which runs North–South through the city, namely Sungkyunkwan University, Hwaseo, Suwon and Seryu. The Bundang Line also crosses Suwon East-West, terminating at Suwon, and the Suin Line connecting Suwon Station to Incheon is under construction. Until 1973, the Suryo Line also connected Suwon to Yeoju.
The Yeongdong Expressway (Number 50) passes through Suwon and two exits on this motorway lie within the city limits, being North Suwon and East Suwon. Suwon is also served by the Suwon exit of the Gyeongbu Expressway (Number 1), though this lies a short distance east of the Suwon’s limits, near Singal in the city of Yongin.
In 2013, the city hosted the EcoMobility World Festival in the Haenggun-dong neighbourhood (pop. 4,300), where for a month, streets were closed to cars as a car-free experiment. Instead of cars, residents used non-motorized vehicles provided by the festival organizers. The experiment was not unopposed; however, on balance it was considered a success. Following the festival, the city embarked on discussions about adopting the practice on a permanent basis.