• Chungcheongnam-do

    Gapsa Temple – 갑사 (Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Gapsa Temple is located in Gyeryongsan National Park in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do. Gapsa Temple is the most important temple in the Gyeryongsan National Park area. Originally, the temple was known as Gyeronggapsa Temple, which means “Rooster Dragon Foremost Temple,” in English. The temple was then called Gyeryongsa-sa in the early Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). The first “sa” in the name meant “fundamental,” so the temple was called “Rooster Dragon Fundamental Temple,” in English. It was at the end of the 18th century that the name of the temple changed once more to Gyeryongsan Gapsa. Now the temple is known as Gapsa Temple, which simply means “Foremost Temple,” in English.…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Donghaksa Temple – 동학사 (Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do)

     Hello Again Everyone!! Donghaksa Temple, which means “Eastern Crane Temple,” in English, is located in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do. Originally, the temple was first constructed in 724 A.D. by the little known monk Sangwon-josa. One source claims Sangwon-josa was a monk from Tang China. The temple was called Cheongryangsa Temple, or “Clear Cold Temple,” in English. It was called this in honour of the cool mountain stream that flowed, and still flows, in front of the temple. According to one legend, Sangwon-josa saved the life of a tiger. In order to repay the monk, the tiger brought a young woman to the temple. Sangwon-josa decided to adopt the young woman, and he…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Gakwonsa Temple – 각원사 (Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Gakwonsa Temple is located in Cheonan, Chungcheongnam-do on the northern side of Mt. Taejosan (420m). If the name of the mountain sounds familiar, it should. It’s named after the founder of the Goryeo Dynasty, King Taejo of Goryeo (r.918-943). The name of the mountain is named after King Taejo because according to legend he built up his military forces in this area. Gakwonsa Temple is apart of the Jogye-jong Order, which is the largest Buddhist order in South Korea. Throughout the years, and especially more recently, Gakwonsa Temple has undergone numerous reconstructions and renovations. It almost seems like a brand new temple. Upon first arriving at the…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Sudeoksa Temple – 수덕사 (Yesan, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Sudeoksa Temple is located on Mt. Deoksungsan (495.2m) in Yesan, Chungcheongnam-do. In English, the temple name means, “Practicing Virtue Temple.” There is some ambiguity as to when Sudeoksa Temple was exactly built. There are two differing accounts as to when it was first built. The first states that the temple was established by the Buddhist monk Sungje during the Baekje Kingdom (18 B.C. – 660 A.D.). during the reign of King Wideok of Baekje (r.554-598). And according to a different account, the temple was founded in 599 A.D. by the monk Jimyeong. There is recorded proof that the monk Hyehyeon (570-627 A.D.) taught at Sudeoksa Temple in…

  • Chungcheongnam-do

    Magoksa Temple – 마곡사 (Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do)

    Hello Again Everyone!! Magoksa Temple, which means “Hemp Valley Temple,” in English, is located outside the beautiful city of Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do. There are two competing stories as to when the temple was actually first built. One states that the temple was first built by the famed monk Jajang-yulsa (590-658 A.D.) in 640 A.D. Jajang-yulsa is also the very same monk to have built Tongdosa Temple in Yangsan, Gyeongsangnam-do. Another states that the temple was founded by the monk Muyeom (800-888 A.D.) upon his return to the Korean peninsula in 845 A.D. after studying in Tang China. Like so many temples in Korea, Magoksa Temple has quite the creation story surrounding…