Local Historic Sites: Nong-seong
By Master Sgt. Matt Summers, 51st Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 23, 2008
OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- Located just blocks away from the main entrance to U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys in Pyeongtaek is an earthen-wall fortress known to be more than 700 years old, but of an uncertain beginning.
According to Gyeonggi Province officials, the 12-foot tall and 900-foot long oval named Nong-seong, was built by Pal Geup Lim, to protect his family from outside threats during the Goryeo Kingdom period, 918 to 1392 A.D.
Other theories say it was built even earlier as a grain storage site, or to defend against the multitude of Japanese pirate invasions during the Goryeo Kingdom rule. Some historians believe it remained in use as a fortress during the Joseon Kingdom era, 1392 to 1910 A.D.
Whatever the case, the site is an impressive feat of human manpower and engineering that has lasted for centuries.
Its proximity to water, now called Pyeongtaek Lake, but in ancient times a river allowing attackers easy access, would point to a military purpose for the earthen-wall construction.
There are other earthen fortresses in neighboring districts, similar in design, that were used to fend off attacks from Mongols, Jurchens and pirates. In addition to its historical value, many locals used the area as a place to exercise or have a picnic. To the west side of the fortress is a monument to the leader of the Lim family, Pal Geup Lim.