• Gyeongju

    Jusaam Hermitage – 주사암 (Gyeongju)

    Hermitage History The little known Jusaam Hermitage is located on Mt. Obongsan (632.8 m) in western Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Jusaam Hermitage is a branch temple of the famed Bulguksa Temple, and it was purportedly founded by Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.) during the reign of King Munmu of Silla (r. 661-681 A.D.). As for how the hermitage got its name, it’s related to a myth that’s told in the “Shinjeungdonggukyeoji Seungram.” There’s another myth concerning Jusaam Hermitage and why it’s located where it is. While constructing the Busanseong Fortress in 663 A.D., which is Korean Historic Site #25, Uisang-daesa predicted that if the hermitage was placed inside the fortress, the Silla Dynasty would…

  • Busan

    Geumsansa Temple – 금산사 (Gijang-gun, Busan)

    Temple History Geumsansa Temple is located in Gijang-gun, Busan, and it belongs to the Jogye-jong Order. The temple was first established in October, 1990 by the monk Geumsan; and hence, where the temple gets its name. In January, 2004, the temple added a large Reclining Buddha image inside the main hall. Also, and it’s unclear of the connection between the two, but the Sanshin-do (Mountain Spirit Mural) of Geumsansa Temple is Busan Cultural Heritage Property #85 as of 2015. The painting of Sanshin dates back to 1856. And it’s a wonderful example of a mid-19th century shaman painting. It’s unclear of the paintings present location. Temple Layout You first approach…

  • Gyeongju

    Sambulsa Temple – 삼불사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Sambulsa Temple, which means “Three Buddhas Temple” in English, is located on the northwest side of Mt. Namsan (494 m) in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. It’s believed that the stone triad dates back to the early 7th century. They are believed to be the oldest full-sized stone Buddhist statues in Gyeongju. In fact, they are believed to be some of the earliest examples of Buddhist art in all of Korea. Sambulsa Temple was constructed in 1923 to house the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong. The historic triad is Korean Treasure #63. Originally, the Stone Standing Buddha Triad in Bae-dong was located further up the mountain at the Seonbangsa-ji Temple…

  • North Korea

    Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site – 패엽사지 (Sincheon, Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Paeyopsa-ji Temple Site [Paeyeopsa-ji Temple Site] is located in Sinchon [Sincheon], Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea on Mt. Kuwolsan (954 m). And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. As for Mt. Kuwolsan, it gets its name from the ninth month of the lunar calendar, which is when the mountain is considered to be at its most beautiful. The area is especially popular with North Korean travelers during the summer months. Additionally, Mt. Kuwolsan [Mt. Guwolsan] is famous for its relation to Dangun, who was the legendary founder of Korea. According to…

  • Gyeongju

    Mangdeoksa-ji Temple Site – 망덕사지 (Gyeongju)

    Temple Site History Mangdeoksa-ji Temple Site is located in and among the rice fields of Gyeongju just south of Mt. Nangsan (99.5 m) and Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple Site. Mangdeoksa Temple means “Aspiring Virtue Temple” in English. There is some debate as to when the temple was completed, but the Flagpole Supports at Mangdeoksa-ji Temple Site were erected in 685 A.D. And even if this date isn’t believed, it’s assumed by most historians that the temple was built either during the reign of King Sinmun of Silla (r. 681-692 A.D.) or King Munmu of Silla (r. 661-681 A.D.). The Mangdeoksa-ji Temple Site has an interesting connection to the neighbouring the Sacheonwangsa-ji Temple…

  • North Korea

    Kaesimsa Temple – 개심사 (Mt. Chilbosan, Hamgyongbuk-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Kaesimsa Temple [Gaesimsa Temple] is located on Mt. Chilbosan (1,103 m) in Hamgyongbuk-to, North Korea. And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. Kaesimsa Temple was first founded in 826 A.D. during the Palhae [Balhae] Kingdom (698-926 A.D.). The temple would later be restored in 1377 during the Koryo [Goryeo] Dynasty (918-1392). Originally, it was believed that the temple was first established in 1377. However, during excavation work and repairs conducted at the temple in 1983, it was discovered that the temple was in fact founded in 826 A.D., which…

  • Busan

    Mahasa Temple – 마하사 (Yeonje-gu, Busan)

    Temple History Mahasa Temple is located in the valley fold beneath the peaks of Mt. Hwangnyeongsan (427 m) and Mt. Geumryeonsan (413.6 m) in Yeonje-gu, Busan. “Maha” is a Sanskrit word that means “great” in English. So Mahasa Temple literally means “Great Temple” in English. And according to the Sangryangmun, which was found in the Daeung-jeon Hall and the Nahan-jeon Hall during renovation work conducted at the temple in 1965, Mahasa Temple was first established in the 5th century by the famed monk Ado-hwasang. Mahasa Temple was later destroyed during the Imjin War (1592-1598). The Daeung-jeon Hall and the Nahan-jeon Hall were rebuilt in 1717. Large-scale renovations were carried out…

  • North Korea

    Kangsosa Temple – 강서사 (Paechon, Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Kangsosa Temple [Gangseosa Temple] is located at the foot of Mt. Baekmasan in Paechon [Baecheon], Hwanghaenam-to, North Korea. And for some of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. The exact date of when Kangsosa Temple [Gangseosa Temple] was established is unclear; however, it’s believed to have been first established by Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.) at the end of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). Originally the temple was known as Yonggunsa Temple [Yeonggeunsa Temple] until the end of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), when the name of the temple changed to its current name of Kangsosa Temple…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Daebisa Temple – 대비사 (Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Daebisa Temple is located in Cheongdo, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Daebisa Temple was first founded in 566 A.D. by the monk Sinseung. Originally, the temple was known as Sojakgapsa Temple. Later, the temple was expanded by the monk Wongwang-guksa (558-638 A.D.) in 600 A.D. It was at this time that the temple was renamed Daebigapsa Temple. As for the name change, it’s slightly unclear as to how it got its name. One theory is that the temple got its name from a Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.) queen. Supposedly the temple is named after this queen that stayed at the temple for an extended period of time. Originally, Daebisa…

  • North Korea

    Yangchonsa Temple – 양천사 (Kowon, Hamyongnam-to, North Korea)

    Temple History Yangchonsa Temple [Yangcheonsa Temple] is located in Kowon [Gowon], Hamyongnam-to, North Korea. And for the rest of this article, it should be noted, that the spelling of North Korean places will use the North Korean style of spelling. Yangchonsa Temple was first founded in 753 A.D. Originally, the temple consisted of a Wontong-jeon Hall and a Kukrak-jeon Hall [Geukrak-jeon Hall]. Very little is known about the temple until 1677, when Yangchonsa Temple was rebuilt by the monk Myo-ryeon. In 1708, the Taeung-jeon Hall [Daeung-jeon Hall] would be constructed. And in 1729, the Manse-ru Pavilion was reconstructed. The bell that hangs inside the current Manse-ru Pavilion was cast in…