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The first purpose of establishing Byeongyeong was to defend Japanese invaders.

In the course of time, it experienced historical events such as Eulmyowaebyeon and Imjinwaeran.


Japanese invaders severely invaded during the 14~15th century. Since the Honam area had many coasts and islands, it was frequently made the target of Japanese invaders.

In addition, inland areas were also exposed and vulnerable to Japanese invaders.


Eulmyowaebyeon, one of the largest invasions of Japanese occurred on May 11, 1555(the 10th year of King Myeongjong).

70 Japanese ships invaded Dallyangpo and Ijinpo, Yeongam. Eoranpo, Namdo, Geumgap, and Dupo were taken in turn.


This war that can be a skirmish of Imjinwaeran did great damage to Gangjin, Haenam, Yeongam, and Jangheung.

In this war, the military commander, Won Jeok and the Janghueng Governor, Han On were killed by Japanese invaders and the Yeongam Governor, Lee Deok-gyeon was taken prisoner. Byeongyeong Fortress was also taken and nearly fell into ruins.

However, Byeongyeong was renovated through full repairing and met with Imjinwaeran and Jeongyujaeran.

Imjinwaeran and Jeongyujaeran did not do direct damage, compared to Eulmyowaebyeon because Byeongyeong provided for itself a good defense against enemy attack. Above all, a distinguished admiral, Lee Sun-shin showed great military power driving back Japanese invaders.

Furthermore, several generals including Kim Eok-chu, Hwang Dae-jung, Kim Deok-ran, and Yeom Byeol played an active role. Numbers of common folks fell victims.

During Jeongyujaeran, Japanese army was greatly defeated by Lee Sun-shin in Uldolmok and invaded Gaingjin, Haenam, and Yeongam in revenge for its defeat. As a result, Byeongseong had a fierce fight. Jeolla military commander, Lee Bok-nam took his men to participate in the Namwon Fortress Battle and died for his country.

During thewar, many problems appeared in Byeongyeong Fortress, there was discussion of its transfer to other area. However, because of the importance of early defense, such argument was not accepted. Byeongyeong was once moved to Jangheung immediately after Imjinwaeran, but it was restored to Gangjin soon.

After this, Byeongyeong Fortress functioned for 300 years and was taken by the peasant army on Dec. 10, 1894, meeting its tragic end.

Since 1866, Jeolla Byeongyeong had actively trained in the use of artillery. In 1894 when Donghak Peasantry Movement occurred, it spearheaded in putting down the peasant army. Nevertheless, the Donghak peasant army in Haenam and Jangheung captured Jangheung Eupseong first, killed the Jangheung Governor, and took Gangjin Eupseong and Byeongyeong Fortress.

In the course of the last heavy fighting against the Donghak army, Jeolla Byeongyeong was reduced to ashes. In the next year, 1895, Byeongyeong was removed according to reorganization of the military system, influenced by the Japanese Empire, and dropped a curtain of 500-year history.







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