Shrine for Go-un Choi Chi-won
This shrine was enlarged and refurbished several times by the decrees of later kings, and has
been nicely rebuilt by the Choi descendants in the late 20th Century; it still features the stele
and a portrait-shrine for the sage named Yongcheon-gak [Dragon-heavenly-deity Shrine],
which title implies posthumous royal status for Choi. This extensive compound includes the
Munchang-gong Yeong-dang Ancestral Shrine. The restored Choi Clan aristocratic mansion
sits just across Gyeongju's South Stream and a bit to the west.
|The "Munchang-hu Choi Chiwon Sangso-jang Yuho-bi" stele that designates Sage
Go-un as "Munchang-hu" [文昌侯, Cultural-Beauty Lord, Marquis of Bright Culture,
or Lord of Beautiful Writing], granted by Goryeo King Hyeonjong in 1023 CE.
The eighth Goryeo monarch Hyeonjong (顯宗 , r. 1009-31) had it recorded that, as the Samguk Sagi
rather enigmatically says, Choi had "secretly helped with the jo-eop [祖業, royal-progenitor work or
business, king's karma] (probably referring to the "yellow-green" poem he supposedly sent to the
Goryeo founder Wang Geon), and that the king was "unable to forget this meritorious service", and
so posthumously conferred the higher rank of Naesaryeong (內史令) upon him. In 1023, the same
king further granted him the posthumous high noble title Munchang-hu [文昌侯, Cultural-Beauty
Lord, Marquis of Bright Culture, or Lord of Beautiful Writing], and turned his birthplace and home
on the northeastern corner of Gyeongju Nam-san into a Confucian shrine named Sangseo-jang
[House where a Writing was Presented, referring to the verses Choi was said to have sent to
Wang Geon], featuring a royal stele named the "Munchang-hu Choi Chiwon Sangso-jang Yuho-bi".