of Gyeongju's Nak-san (a.k.a. Nang-san)
|Main Hall remaining of Bunhwang-sa, named the Bogwang-jeon [Jewel-Luminescence Hall]
no other historic wooden structure remains here
|Bunhwang-sa's famous Mojeon-seoktap [Faux-brick stone pagoda], National Treasure #30 and one of
Gyeongju's primary tourist stops. It looks to be built of bricks but those are actually hand-carved slabs of black andesite
(igneous, volcanic, rare-in-Korea) stone -- just think how much labor that involved! This was done in imitation of the then-
new brick pagodas of China's Tang Dynasty, as missionary-monks from Tang described them to Queen Seondeok.
Scholars think that there were eight stone dog-ish Lion statues, two flanking each doorway, but by the time this pagoda was
refurbished in the 1970s only the one above remained of the the originals; they created 3 replicas and placed them on the 4 corners.
|"Diamond-hard" Guardians [geumgang-yeoksa] at the doorways
|interior of the Bogwang-jeon
|the famous portrait of Wonhyo-daesa
(possibly the oldest extant painting of Korea's
most famous and popularly-revered monk)
|1776 statue of Yaksa-Yeorae
(a.k.a. Medicinal Buddha, Bhaisajya-guru, Sakyamuni Buddha in his
Healer-of Sickness mode) -- this is Korea's best-known statue of him
|inside the eastern doorway, a standing Buddha statue can barely be seen (below-right)
|close-up of the eastern Buddha
|a broken Bodhisattva-with-nimbus statue in the garden
|the antique Sanshin painting of Bunhwang-sa, in the leftt-rear corner of the
Bogwang-jeon -- best shots that I could get, as it is covered in reflective glass.
|It is a notable classic, one of the only 7 found in Korea so far where the Mountain-King is depicted
reading a book (Buddhist, Shamanic or Confucian scripture...? the records of Dan-gun...?) -- a motif that is
only found in this Gyeongju~Andong aristocratic-confucian scholarship-venerating region. Another
rare feature of this excellent icon is that he has black hair instead of the usual white, even in his
elongated eyebrows, so then appearing younger than typical (or more-immortal, like Dan-gun).
|stone artworks (modern reproductions of famous Gyeongju treasures) seen
along the highway leading east from this temple towards Bomun Lake
|It was probably originally nine stories tall -- maybe the largest all-stone structure in East Asia in the 7th Century!
The interior was once used to store and study Buddhist scriptures -- but the upper-stories caved-in, filling it with
rubble (some of which was used to create a simple roof in the early 20th Cen). This is the oldest Buddhist
Pagoda of the Shilla Kingdom whose construction-date has been confirmed.
|other important relics of this temple include 3.6m-high Danggan-jiju twin flagpole support stones with unique
turtle-shaped bases, and several stone Buddhist statues now kept in the Gyeongju National Museum.
|a photo taken in 1914!