Namsan Mountain Belt, lying to the north of Gyeongju City, covers 2,650 hectares.
Buddhist monuments that have been excavated up to now include the ruins of 122
temples, 53 stone statues, 64 pagodas and 16 stone lanterns.
Wolseong Palace Belt's main monuments are a ruined palace site, Anapji Pond,
Cheomseongdae Observatory and many others.
Royal Tomb Belt's excavations have produced rich grave artifacts of gold, glass and fine
ceramics. Most of the mounds there are domed, but some take the form of a half-moon or a
gourd. They contain double wooden coffins covered with gravel.
Poseokjeong Pavillion in the Namsan Mountain Belt is the place where the Silla Kings
along with their officials and nobles floated their wine glasses on the water, according to
historians. When the water flew along the stone groove, they recited poems before their
glasses floated up to them.
Poseokjeong PavillionPoseokjeong is built of 63 kinds of rock materials. It is 35
centimeters wide, 26 centimeters deep on average, and the total length is about 10 meters.
It is said that water from a local mountain was brought to Poseokjeong, and was spewed
out through a stone turtle, but the stone turtle does not remain today.
Poseokjeong was designated as private monument No.1 in 1963. The location is originally
where the royal villa of the ancient Silla had been, but the building no longer exists, and
only a stone waterway shaped as a shell is left in its place. Poseok valley, placed next to
Poseokjeong, was also much loved by the Silla people for its clean water and beautiful
Cheomseongdae Observatory in the Wolseong Palace Belt is the oldest existing
astronomical observatory in Asia.
Constructed from 632 to 647, it was used for observing the stars in order to forecast the
weather. The stone observatory is a beautiful combination of straight lines and curves, and
was designated as National Treasure No.31 in 1962.
Cheomseongdae was built in a cylinder shape with stones. As many as 362 stones were
piled up to make 27 levels. There is a square entrance and a space to hang a ladder,
about 4 meters up from the ground.
The inside is filled with soil up to the 12th level, and the 19th, 20th, 25th, and 26th levels
all have long rocks hanging on two areas, shaped like the Chinese letter '井'.
It stands over nine meters tall and the base stone on each side measures 5.35 meters. The
four equinoxes, the two solstices and the 24 solar terms (also known as the astronomical
solar year) were determined by the observation of stars. The pavilion stone is believed to
have been used as a standard of deciding directions. The 362 stones used to build
Cheomseongdae represented the 362 days in a lunar year.
Gyeongju Nam-san is listed as one of Korea's most
sacred places on Martin Gray's excellent Sacred
Sites of the World website, on this page about Korea.
For plenty of information and beautiful photos of the
world's holy pilgrimage destinations, get his excellent
new 275-page book:
Sacred Earth: Places of Peace and Power.