• Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Daeseungsa Temple – 대승사 (Mungyeong, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Daeseungsa Temple is located on Mt. Sabulsan in northern Mungyeong, Gyeongsangbuk-do. Daeseungsa Temple means “Great Vehicle Temple” in English. The temple was first established in 587 A.D., and it was the first Buddhist temple ever built in Mungyeong. Daeseungsa Temple has one of the more interesting origin legends. According to the Samguk Yusa, or “Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms” in English: “To the east of Juknyeong (Bamboo Pass) about one hundred li [500 meters] away, soaring high into the sky, there stands a mountain. In the ninth year of King Jinpyeong of Silla [r. 579-632 A.D.], the year of the monkey (587 A.D.), this mountain shook with a…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Dorisa Temple – 도리사 (Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Dorisa Temple is located on Mt. Naengsan (694 m) in northern Gumi, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The exact date of the temple’s first founding is unknown, however, it’s believed to date back to the fifth century. Additionally, it’s said that Dorisa Temple was the first of its kind in the Silla Kingdom (57 B.C. – 935 A.D.). The earliest documentation of the founding of Dorisa Temple is found in the “Shinjeungdongguk Yeoji,” which was compiled in 1530. In this text, it states how the monk Ado-hwasang, who looked similar to King Nulji of Silla (r. 417-458 A.D.), built a temple after seeing that the area was in full bloom even though…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Sudoam Hermitage – 수도암 (Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Hermitage History Sudoam Hermitage is a hermitage that belongs to Cheongamsa Temple in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The hermitage is located south of the main temple on Mt. Sudosan (1,317.3 m). Sudoam Hermitage means “Practicing the Way Hermitage” in English. Like Cheongamsa Temple, Sudoam Hermitage was founded by Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.) in 859 A.D. Originally, the hermitage belonged to Ssanggyesa Temple. However, throughout the centuries, very little is known about the hermitage’s history after it was first founded. Later, Sudoam Hermitage was completely destroyed by fire in 1894 during the Donghak Peasant Revolution (1894-95). In 1900, the hermitage was rebuilt, which was around the same time as Cheongamsa Temple was rebuilt, as…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Cheongamsa Temple – 청암사 (Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Temple History Cheongamsa Temple is located in southern Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do to the north of Mt. Sudosan (1,317.3 m). The story of Cheongamsa Temple is one of being built, destroyed, and being rebuilt, once more. In total, Cheongamsa Temple was rebuilt a total of five times. The temple was first established in 859 A.D. by the famed monk Doseon-guksa (826-898 A.D.). Little is known about Cheongamsa Temple during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) and the early part of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). In 1647, the temple was completely destroyed by fire. The temple was later reconstructed by the monks Heojeong-hwasang and Hwanu-daesa. After Cheongamsa Temple was reconstructed, it was nothing more than…

  • Colonial Korea,  Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Colonial Korea – Jikjisa Temple

    Temple History Jikjisa Temple, which means “Finger Pointing Temple” in English, sits at the base of Mt. Hwangaksan (1111.3m) in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The temple is scenically located with quiet forests, towering mountain peaks, and rolling streams. According to temple legend, Jikjisa Temple was built in 418 A.D. by the monk Ado-hwasang. There are three theories as to how the temple got its name. The first states that after first seeing the location, Ado-hwasang pointed to a spot on the mountain and said that a large temple should be built at its base. The second story states that in 936 A.D., Master Neungyeo, while reconstructing the temple, instead of using a ruler…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Five-Story Brick Pagoda in Unheung-dong, Andong – 안동 운흥동 오층전탑 (Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Pagoda History The “Five-Story Brick Pagoda in Unheung-dong” is located in central Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do to the north of a trainyard and to the east of Homeplus. This brick pagoda is believed to have once belonged to Beomninsa Temple, which was written about in a couple of sources. One of these records is the “Dongguk yeoji seungnam – Augumented Survey of the Geography of Korea,” which was written in 1481. Another source is the “Yeonggaji – Record of the Andong Region,” which was written in 1608. According to the “Yeonggaji – Record of the Andong Region,” the brick pagoda at Beomnimsa Temple was a seven-story structure. As a result, historians believe…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Unbuam Hermitage – 운부암 (Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Hermitage History Unbuam Hermitage is one of several hermitages located on the sprawling Eunhaesa Temple grounds in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do. According to a hermitage legend, Unbuam Hermitage was first founded in 711 A.D. by the famed monk Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.). However, there are two reasons to question this legend. First, Uisang-daesa died in 702 A.D.; and secondly, Eunhaesa Temple wasn’t constructed until 809 A.D. As for the name of the hermitage, it was called Unbuam Hermitage because the monk Seoun was floating above the location of the future hermitage. After the hermitage’s founding, very little is known about its history. However, we do know that the hermitage was destroyed by fire…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Baekheungam Hermitage – 백흥암 (Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Hermitage History Baekheungam Hermitage is located in Yeongcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do on the temple grounds of Eunhaesa Temple. In fact, if you continue to travel west upon one of the temple roads, you’ll come to Baekheungam Hermitage. Baekheungam Hermitage was first founded in 861 A.D., some fifty years after Eunhaesa Temple was first established in 809 A.D. When the hermitage was first founded, it was called Baekjisa Temple. The original name came from the fact that pine nuts were often found around the hermitage grounds. For several hundred years, there were no records related to Baekheungam Hermitage. It’s not until the early Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) that we learn more about this hermitage.…

  • Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Gwaneumseonwon Hermitage – 관음선원 (Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do)

    Hermitage History Gwaneumseonwon Hermitage is located in northwestern Sangju, Gyeongsangbuk-do in the southern foothills of Mt. Noeumsan (725.5 m). Gwaneumseonwon Hermitage is a hermitage directly associated with Namjangsa Temple; as such, it’s located some 300 metres north of Namjangsa Temple on the temple grounds. The name of the hermitage comes from the Bodhisattva Gwanseeum-bosal (The Bodhisattva of Compassion). It’s believed that the hermitage was first founded by Jingam as a meditation centre at the end of Unified Silla (668-935 A.D.). After its original construction, Gwaneumseonwon Hermitage was rebuilt several times including in 1668 and 1752. Later, and in 1797, the monk Boin rebuilt the Gwaneum-jeon Hall at the hermitage. This…

  • Colonial Korea,  Gyeongsangbuk-do

    Colonial Korea – Buseoksa Temple

    Temple History Buseoksa Temple, which means “Floating Rock Temple” in English, is located in Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. It’s also one of Korea’s most famous temples. Buseoksa Temple is home to five National Treasures and five additional Korean Treasures. As for the temple itself, Buseoksa Temple was first established by the famed monk, Uisang-daesa (625-702 A.D.), under the royal decree of King Munmu of Silla (r. 661-681 A.D.), in 676 A.D. There were a few reasons for the Silla Kingdom’s royal support in establishing Buseoksa Temple. The first is that it would help promote the ideas behind Hwaeom (Huayan) Buddhism throughout the Korean Peninsula, and Buseoksa Temple would also act as the base to help spread the…