At the southwestern foot of 680-meter Mt. Seongju-san, just outside of Seongju Town in Seongju-myeon
District, in the eastern area of Boryeong City.  Administered, excavated and being lovingly-restored by the
Cultural Heritage Administration, and of high interest to the Jogye Order as one of its founding-roots sites.
It remains highly-regarded today as one of the
Gusan-Seonmun original Meditational-Buddhism Temples.
South Chungcheong Province
Boryeong City
Site of one of the 9 Original Seon Temples
Seongju-san Seongju-saji       충남 보령시 성주면의 성주산문 (聖住山門), 성주사
Designated as National Historic Site #307  
성주사    聖住寺
This temple was first established in 616 CE by the orders of the Dharma-King Mu (백제 무법왕, r. 600-641)
Baekje Kingdom, with the name O-hap-sa (오합사 烏合寺), in order to commemorate their recent
victory over Shilla and to pray for the repose of their fallen soldiers’ souls.   The Samguk-Yusa records
that in 659, during the reign of the final King Uija (의자왕), a "Red Goblin" (
hong dokkebi) was seen
circumambulating this temple 6 times
(an inausipious number), and then announced a prediction that
Baekje would soon collapse (it did so just a year later, under attack from Tang China and Shilla).  

In 845, the local-lord aristocrat Kim Yang, known posthumously as "Prince Hun", requested Unified
Shilla Dynasty King Munseong (r. 839–857) to appoint the master-monk Kim "Muju" Muyeom (무주 무염
"muju" is a variant-usage of Munsu-bosal / Wenshu / Monju / Manjusri the Bodhisattva of Wisdom) to become
abbot of this already-important temple.  As King Munseong did so, and provided funds for refurbishment
and expansion, he changed its name to
Seongju-sa  [Temple where a Saint Abides].

(800-888), said to have been a descendant of 7th-Cen Shilla King Taejong Muryeol, had just
returned from Tang China where he had received his
inga certification-of-enlightenment in the Seon
(Zen) Sect from Magu Baozhe (麻谷寶徹; b. 720?, a disciple of Mazu Daoyi), and so he reformatted this monastery
as one of the
Gusan-Seonmun temples.  During his 20 years practicing meditation and traveling in Tang,
he had gained a reputation for compassionate benevolence towards the less-fortunate commoners, to
the extent that the Chinese remembered him as "a great Bodhisattva of the East".    Abbott /
Muyeom remained heavily involved in the political affairs of state during the reigns of the next two kings,
and left many enlightened disciples during his 40 years residence at this monastery.  Posthumously he
was honored by royal decree with the appellation-title "Nanghye-hwasang Baegwol".

This temple flourished all through the Goryeo Dynasty, but then was tragically looted and destroyed
by Japanese invaders during the 1592-98
Imjin War, and still awaits reconstruction.
This Seongju-saji Ocheung-seoktap [Five-storied stone Pagoda] is designated as Treasure #19
The three rear pagodas, picturesquely in-line.  The Seongju-saji Seo-samcheung-seoktap [West three-storied
stone Pagoda is designated as Treasure #47, the
Jungang Samcheung-seoktap  [Central three-storied stone
Pagoda] is Treasure #20 (detail below), but the eastern one is counted lesser, for reasons unknown to me.
The Seongju-saji Nanghye-hwasang Baegwol Bogwang-tapbi biographical stele (baegwol means
"white moon" and
bogwang means "treasure that shines") was built to accompany the Budo [funerary Stupa]
of Buddhist Master Muyeom Nanghye-hwasang in 890 CE.  This monument was composed by the
great Confucian-turned-Daoist Sage
"Go-un" Choi Chi-won  (book about him), and then inscribed
on the
o-seok [black stone, obsidian] pillar by his relative Choi In-yeon.  It remains famous as one
of Choi Chi-won's "Four Mountain Steles", and is designated as Korea's National Treasure #8.

Founder Muyeom is said to have always had the same food and the same clothes as all the
other monks, and he also joined in ordinary work such as drawing water and gathering firewood
-- exemplifying the Seon values of frugality, practicality and equality.
crude, badly-damaged-and-repaired statue, probably of Mireuk-bul  [Maitreya the Future Buddha]
you gotta stop drinking so much soju, Mr. Buddha -- it's really messin' ya up!
in winter