• Gyeongju

    Dodeokam Hermitage – 도덕암 (Gyeongju)

    Hermitage History Dodeokam Hermitage is located on the eastern slopes of Mt. Dodeoksan (707.5 m) in northern Gyeongju. It’s believed that the hermitage was first founded during the reign of King Gyeongdeok of Silla (r. 742-765 A.D.). Additionally, Dodeokam Hermitage was one of twelve hermitages that belonged to Jeonghyesa Temple, which is now known as the Jeonghyesa-ji Temple Site because all that remains of the former temple is the uniquely designed thirteen-story stone pagoda. During the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), Lee Eon-jeok (1491-1553), a philosopher and politician, stayed at Jeonghyesa Temple and Dodeokam Hermitage. It’s here that he purportedly studied. Dodeokam Hermitage is also where the memorial tablet for the Gyeongju…

  • Artwork

    Seokdeung – Stone Lantern: 석등

    Design and Location of Stone Lanterns One of the most common stone structures that you’ll find at a Korean Buddhist temple is the stone lantern, which is known as a “seokdeung – 석등” in Korean. So what exactly do they look like? What do they mean? And where do you find them? Stone lanterns are comprised of a base, a single long octagonal pedestal, a square or octagonal body that may, or may not, be decorated. This chamber typically has four vertical, rectangular openings. And atop this chamber is a roof-cap. Stone lanterns are typically made of white granite. Stone lanterns are typically housed in the main courtyard between the…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Seokgolsa Temple – 석골사 (Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple History Seokgolsa Temple is located in a long valley west of Mt. Unmunsan (1,188 m) in northeastern Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do. It’s believed that Seokgolsa Temple was first founded by the monk Beheo-seonsa in 560 A.D. It was later re-established in 773 A.D. by the monk Beopjo. Throughout the years, Seokgolsa Temple has gone by a few different names including Nojeonsa Temple, Seokdongsa Temple, and Seokgulsa Temple. In fact, it’s believed that the temple was originally called Seokgulsa Temple, or “Stone Cave Temple” in English; however, because of the local dialect, and the way that this was pronounced, it changed to Seokgolsa Temple over time. Seokgolsa Temple was also a base…

  • Gyeongsangnam-do

    Maneosa Temple – 만어사 (Miryang, Gyeongsangnam-do)

    Temple Myth The founding of Maneosa Temple appears in the Samguk Yusa, or Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms in English. According to the Samguk Yusa, “In an antique record it is written that the site of Maneosa Temple was formerly called Mt. Jaseongsan or Mt. Ayasasan. Nearby was Garakuk [The Gaya Conferacy], where an egg descended from heaven on the seacoast from which came a man who ruled over that country. This was King Suro [of Geumgwan Gaya, 42?-199 A.D.]. “In those days there was a poisonous dragon in the mountains which lived in a jade pond and carried on with five female Nachal [Rakshasa] on the sapphire waves, calling…

  • Gyeongju

    Nawonsa Temple – 나원사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Nawonsa Temple is located in the northern part of Gyeongju in Nawon-ri. Nawonsa Temple is a restored temple that was recently rebuilt in 1975. The temple was named after its location in Nawon-ri. Before it was rebuilt, the temple was known as the Nawon-ri Temple Site. The temple site was also known as the Nanwonsa Temple Site. Additionally, the temple was once known as Daegakam Hermitage in recognition of the founder of the temple. But Nawonsa Temple is most famous for the Five-Story Stone Pagoda in Nawon-ri, which is National Treasure #39. The historic pagoda dates back to the 8th century and is located out in front of…

  • Gyeongju

    Mangwolsa Temple – 망월사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Mangwolsa Temple is located on the northwestern side of Mt. Namsan (494 m) in Gyeongju. And just under a hundred metres to the north is Sambulsa Temple. Mangwolsa Temple is a modern temple of the Wonhyo-jong Sect of Korean Buddhism. The Wonhyo-jong Sect is one of twenty-seven Buddhist sects recognized by the Korean government. It was founded in July, 1963 by the monk Haein. Then in August, 1967, Mangwolsa Temple became the headquarters of the sect. Currently, the headquarters of the sect is located out of Seoul. The sect, rather obviously, reveres the teachings of Wonhyo-daesa (617-686 A.D.). The Wonhyo-jong Sect is organized around the exclusion of superstitious…

  • Gyeongju

    Hwangboksa-ji Temple Site – 황복사지 (Gyeongju)

    Temple Site History The Hwangboksa-ji Temple Site is located on the northeast side of Mt. Nangsan (99.5 m) in Gyeongju. The exact date and by whom the temple was first constructed is unknown. In fact, there is still some controversy as to whether this is in fact the location of the historic Hwangboksa Temple. However, with that being said, tiles were discovered at the site with the words “Hwangbok” or “Wangbok” written on them. Additionally, the sari reliquary discovered inside Three-Story Stone Pagoda at Hwangboksa Temple Site, which is National Treasure #37, records how the temple was constructed to wish great fortune on the royal Silla family in the early…

  • Gyeongju

    Jungsaengsa Temple – 중생사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Jungsaengsa Temple is located on the northwestern part of Mt. Nangsan (99.5 m) in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Jungsaengsa Temple is a branch temple of Bulguksa Temple. Jungsaengsa Temple was first founded in 679 A.D. Also, and alongside Baengnyulsa Temple and Minjangsa Temple, Jungsaengsa Temple was central to the worship of Gwanseeum-bosal during Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). After this point in history, however, very little is known about Jungsaengsa Temple and when it eventually fell into disrepair. Jungsaengsa Temple would eventually be reconstructed in the 1940’s on the old temple site. And today, there are a handful of temple structures at Jungsaengsa Temple. Jungsaengsa Temple is home to the Rock-Carved…

  • Busan

    Naewonjeongsa Temple – 내원정사 (Seo-gu, Busan)

    Temple History Naewonjeongsa Temple is located east of Mt. Gudeoksan (560 m) in Seo-gu, Busan. Naewonjeongsa Temple is a modern temple with it first being established in 1973. Then in 1983, the Daejeokgwang-jeon Hall was completed. This was subsequently followed with the building of the temple’s Gwaneum-jeon Hall, the Yosachae (monks’ dorms), and the Jong-ru Pavilion. And in 1990, the Manbul-jeon Hall was built. Naewonjeongsa Temple is home to a pair of Busan Metropolitan City Tangible Cultural Property. They are the “Jineonjib” and the “Josang-gyeong.” They are a collection of sutras from a collection of woodblocks. In addition to these woodblocks, Naewonjeongsa Temple is home to another Busan Metropolitan City…

  • Beomeosa,  Busan

    Gyemyeongam Hermitage – 계명암 (Geumjeong-gu, Busan)

    Hermitage History Gyemyeongam Hermitage is located in Geumjeong-gu, Busan on the Beomeosa Temple grounds. More specifically, it’s located to the northeast of Beomeosa Temple about midway up Gyemyeong-bong Peak (599.8 m), which is part of the Mt. Geumjeongsan (801.5 m) mountain range. Gyemyeongam Hermitage means “Rooster’s Crow Hermitage” in English. The exact date of the hermitage’s founding is unknown. However, it’s believed that the hermitage dates back to Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). It’s believed that Gyemyeongam Hermitage gets its name from when Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.) was searching for a temple site one night when he heard a rooster crow. Gyemyeongam Hermitage was reconstructed after 1592 after the Imjin War (1592-1598).…