Category: Bulguksa Temple


Saturday, May 15:  This morning we checked out of the Kolon Hotel, and Anna and Seth headed back to Daegu.  I decided to stay till later in the day so I could return to Bulguksa Temple and see a few more of Gyeongju’s amazing “cultural assets.”  I had seen a few things in the Bulguksa gift shop that I wanted to buy: a necklace and a beautiful painting.

me back at Bulguksa Temple

me back at Bulguksa Temple

Me at Bulguksa Temple

Me at Bulguksa Temple

I then headed to the Tumuli in Hwangnam-ri, built in the early Silla period.  The large tombs scattered throughout this park are wood-lined chamber tombs with stone mounds.  The small tombs do not have mounds at all.

Tumuli in Hwangnam-ri

Tumuli in Hwangnam-ri

The Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla is a park with 20 large or small tombs from the Three Kingdoms Period.  Most of them have round earthen mounds, but there are double gourd-like mounds for the burial of a husband and wife.  In the center is the Tomb of King Michu, the 13th King of Silla.

Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

pond at Tumuli in Hwangnam-ri

pond at Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

pond at Tumuli in Hwangnam-ri

pond at Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

pond at Tumuli in Hwangnam-ri

pond at Royal Tomb of King Michu of Silla

me in front of the pond

me in front of the pond

As I headed out of the park, I came across a little shack of a shop with this enticing sign.

Everything is very cheap!! Oh boy!

Everything is very cheap!! Oh boy!

And then as I headed to the bus station, I passed this little pond with running stallions.  I didn’t know the significance of this.

a pond with horses

a pond with horses

horse statues near the pond

horse statues near the pond

horses

horses

Finally, as I left the park, I saw wide open fields where kids were playing football.

field of dreams

field of dreams

I headed back on the bus to Daegu, where I relaxed for the rest of the weekend. 🙂

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Friday, May 14:  On our third morning Anna, Seth and I went up to Bulguksa Temple; Myrna ended up joining us.  Construction of this temple was begun by Prime Minister Gin Dae-seong in 751, the 10th year of King Gyeongdeok, and was completed in 774, the 10th year of King Hyegong.  It served as a center of Silla Buddhism and of prayer for the protection of the country from foreign invasion.  Sadly, prayer didn’t save the temple as Japanese invaders burned it to the ground in 1593; it was finally restored in 1973.  In 1995, along with Seokguram grotto, the temple was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

a pond at the entrance to Bulguksa Temple

a pond at the entrance to Bulguksa Temple

Anna & Seth at Bulguksa Temple

Anna & Seth at Bulguksa Temple

me at Bulguksa Temple

me at Bulguksa Temple

at Bulguksa Temple

at Bulguksa Temple

Myrna with a drum at Bulguksa Temple

Myrna with a drum at Bulguksa Temple

Lanterns at Bulguksa Temple

Lanterns at Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple

Bulguksa Temple

Making wishes at Bulguksa Temple

Making wishes at Bulguksa Temple

Wishes at Bulguksa Temple

Wishes at Bulguksa Temple

Wishes at Bulguksa Temple

Wishes at Bulguksa Temple

me back at the entrance to Bulguksa Temple

me back at the entrance to Bulguksa Temple

With some strange company near the Bulguksa Temple entrance

With some strange company near the Bulguksa Temple entrance

After Bulguksa, we visited the oldest astronomical observatory in East Asia, called Cheomseongdae.  It was built during the reign of Silla Queen Seondeok (reign: 632-647).  The bottle-shaped tower made of square granite stones stands on a square stone base.  Up to the 12th layer from the bottom,  this hollow tower was filled with soil and pebbles.  Between the 13th and 15th layer, there is a square opening through which an observer can ascend to the top.

Cheomseongdae

Cheomseongdae

Cheomseongdae

Cheomseongdae

Next to Cheomseongdae was a lovely field of green grass where families were out running around….such an idyllic scene, with a nice breeze and tombs and mountains in the background.

fields of green near Cheomseongdae

fields of green near Cheomseongdae

I also loved the strange Gyerim Forest, where apparently a baby king was found in a tree when people heard a rooster crowing.

the strange surreal Gyerim Forest

the strange surreal Gyerim Forest

Gyerim Forest

Gyerim Forest

me in Gyerim Forest

me in Gyerim Forest

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