• Gyeongju

    Yeongheungsa Temple – 영흥사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Yeongheungsa Temple is located on the northern slopes of Mt. Seondosan (380.6 m) in the historic city of Gyeongju. The temple was first founded in 535 A.D. by the wife of King Beopheung of Silla. And when King Beopheung of Silla (r. 514-540 A.D.) abdicated his throne and became a Buddhist monk, he became a Buddhist monk at Yeongheungsa Temple. In addition, his wife, Queen Kim, became a nun at Yeongheungsa Temple in her later years, as well. Then in 572 A.D., during the reign of King Jinheung of Silla (r. 540-576 A.D.), King Jinheung of Silla’s wife Queen Sado (?-614 A.D.) became a nun at Yeongheungsa Temple.…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Gyeongju

    Wonwonsa Temple – 원원사 (Gyeongju)

    Temple History Wonwonsa Temple is located in the southeastern part of Gyeongju and east of Mt. Bongseosan (360.8 m). Wonwonsa Temple was first built during Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). The temple is believed to have first been built by the monks Anhye and Nangyung, who were esoteric Buddhist monks, as well as Kim Yu-sin (595-673 A.D.), Kim Ui-won and Kim Sul-jong. In fact, and alongside Sacheonwangsa Temple and Geumgwangsa Temple, Wonwonsa Temple was a leading esoteric Buddhist temple during Unified Silla and the early part of the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392). And much like other temples built at this time during the early part of Unified Silla like Gameunsa Temple and…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…