This was built as the central and main temple
of Buyeo City
(under another name) in the late
500s CE after the Baekje Kingdom moved
its capital here
(from Gongju).  A century later
Baekje and Buyeo were conquered and
sacked;  only this stone masterpiece and a
few smaller relics remain to recall the glory.

The exquisite 5-story
granite Buddhist Pagoda
is now National Treasure #9, and similar but
inferior pagodas of this style can be found all
over the Chungcheong and Jeolla Provinces.
It is modeled after the larger wooden tower-
pagodas built in China -- and a few in Korea
(compare the famous one at Beobju-sa, and this at
Jiri-san S Munsu-sa) -- and many later-on in Japan.

When Tang Chinese General Su Tin-fang
defeated Baekje and occupied in 665 CE, he
carved an inscription
(Chinese characters of
course)
on the first-story sides, proclaiming
his victory, virtues and exploits. This text is
now considered a very valuable source for
studying Korean history.
Jeongnim-saji Temple-Site
Relics of Baekje Kingdom and the Goryeo
Dynasty near the foot of Buyeo's Buso-san
The new Museum for study and preservation of this site's artifacts
The posted plan for eventual full reconstruction of this temple
This strange, large statue is all that is enshrined in the rebuilt Main Hall.  Scholars believe that it was originally a
Biro-bul [Vairocana the Buddha of Infinite Cosmic Light] icon carved around the same time as the above pagoda,
probably in the middle of the 7th Century.  If so, it's one of the biggest Biro-bul statues ever made in Korea.  It was
badly damaged when Buyeo was conquered, or perhaps later-on.  The temple was rebuilt and renamed Jeongnim-sa
in 1028 CE by the Goryeo Dynasty.  They, or someone in the next few centuries, placed this ruined statue-body in the
new Main Hall, and gave it a crude new head -- seemingly trnsforming it into a
Mireuk-bul [Maitreya Buddha] icon,
which are common monumental stoneworks still found today n this region, erected during the Goryeo era.
Gungnam-ji Pond
Also near Buso-san's foot, this was a recreational pond built behind
the Baekje Palace, now restored as a charming public park.