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K-HISTORY

Meaningful Days of Korean History

  • 1973.8.23
    Date of discovery
    Gyeongju Cheonmachong Tomb <Jangni Cheonmado> is a picture of a horse drawn on a long tooth that hangs on both sides of the saddle.

    It is 75cm wide, 53cm long, and 6mm thick, and was discovered in 1973 in Tomb No. 155 (Chunmachong) of Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju.

    The figure of Cheonma-do and the vine designs on the rim of Cheonma-do during the 5th and 6th centuries of the Silla Period are similar to the patterns of Goguryeo dance guns and ancient tomb murals, indicating that Silla paintings were influenced by Goguryeo.

    It is also worthwhile as it is the only painting of Silla that remains until now.
  • 1979.12.14
    designated date
    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Gyeongju as one of the world's top 10 historic sites on Dec. 14, 1979.

    The Gyeongju Historical and Cultural Area is well preserved with Buddhist relics and royal tombs containing the history and culture of Gyeongju, the capital of the Silla millennium (57 AD 935).

    Depending on the nature of the site, it was divided into five districts and there are 52 designated cultural properties.
  • 1962.12.20
    designated date of national treasure
    The tombstone of King Taejong Muyeol in Gyeongju is the tombstone of King Taejong Muyeol, the 29th king of Silla, which was built in the mid 7th century in Seorak-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do. It is also abbreviated as the Royal Tomb of King Muyeol.

    The stele, which was erected during the Unified Silla Period, was shaped like a turtle, and the headstone on the stele was carved with a dragon. The tombstone of King Taejong Muyeol was the first example of this style.

    On December 20, 1962, it was designated as National Treasure No. 25 of the Republic of Korea.
  • 1962.12.20
    designated date of national treasure
    The construction of Seokguram Grotto was begun in 751 under the leadership of Prime Minister Kim Dae-seong during the reign of King Gyeongdeok of the Silla Dynasty, and was completed in 774 (the 10th year of King Hyegong’s reign), whereupon it was given its original name of Seokbulsa Temple.
    Buddhist art reached its peak during King Gyeongdeok’s reign, which spanned the middle period of the Silla Period, Besides Seokguram Grotto, many other cultural treasures were built during this period, including Bulguksa Temple, Dabotap Pagoda, the Three-story Stone Pagoda of Bulguksa Temple, and the Bell of Hwangnyongsa Temple.
    The artificial stone grotto was built halfway down Tohamsan Mountain with pieces of white granite. The principal statue of Sakyamuni Buddha was placed at the center of the grotto, and forty statues of various bodhisattvas, Buddha’s disciples, and guardian kings were carved on the surrounding walls, though only thirty-eight of them remain. The rectangular front chamber of the grotto is connected to the round main chamber by a corridor. The exquisite ceiling of the main chamber was made with more than 360 flat stones. The architectural technique used to build this grotto is unprecedented in its excellence. There are statues of four guardian deities on both the left and right sides of the front chamber, which functions as the entrance to the main chamber. Carved on both sides of the entrance to the corridor is a statue of the Vajra Guardians, while the narrow corridor is decorated with the Four Guardian Kings carved in pairs. There is an octagonal stone column on both sides of the entrance to the round main chamber. The Principal Buddha is placed slightly off center toward the back of the main chamber. From the entrance, the walls of the chamber are filled with the images of two devas, two bodhisattvas, and ten arhats. Standing behind the Principal Buddha is a statue of the Eleven-faced Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, perhaps the most exquisitely carved statue found inside this grotto.
    Every single sculpture contained in the grotto may be considered a masterpiece of East Asian Buddhist art. The list of masterpieces includes the principal image of Buddha, which was created with mature carving skills; the Eleven-faced Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva with its magnificently carved face and body; statues of valiant warriors and the majestic Four Guardian Kings; and the supple graceful statues of various bodhisattvas and arhats, each of which displays a distinctive individuality. In particular, the serene appearance of the Principal Buddha enshrined in the main chamber deepens the mystical atmosphere. The extremely natural appearance of the Principal Buddha seems to present to all living people the ideal model of a man harboring a profound and sublime mind deep within him and easily pass to them his everlasting mercy. Seokguram Grotto is a masterpiece of the golden age of Buddhist art in Silla. What makes it stand out all the more is its perfect combination of architecture, mathematics, geometry, religion, and art. Seokguram Grotto has long been preserved as National Treasure No. 24, and was jointly registered as a UNESCO World Heritage in December 1995 along with Bulguksa Temple.
  • 1962.12.20
    designated date of national treasure
    Dabotap Pagoda and Seokgatap Pagoda (the Three-story Stone Pagoda of Bulguksa Temple, National Treasure No. 21) are the two most renowned pagodas in Korea. They are similar in height (10.29m and 10.75m), and stand facing each other, Dabotap Pagoda in the east, Seokgatap Pagoda in the west, between Daeungjeon Hall and Jahamun Gate of Bulguksa Temple . Dabotap is a unique type of pagoda, while Seokgatap Pagoda (also known as “Sakyamuni Buddha Pagoda”) is representative of the more general type of stone pagoda. The two pagodas were built at the same site to reflect the content of the Saddharmapundarika Sutra (The Lotus Sutra), in which the Dabo Buddha (“Buddha of the past”) stands beside Sakyamuni (“Buddha of the present”) to prove that his Buddhist sermon is right. Bulguksa Temple was founded by Kim Dae-seong’s offer in 751 (the 10th year of the reign of King Gyeongdeok of Silla).
    Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms) states that Kim Dae-seong built Seokguram Grotto for his parents in his former life, and Bulguksa Temple for his present parents. However, the temple was not completed at the time of his death, so it was finished afterwards by the kingdom, and in the end, the temple was run not for the private individual Kim Dae-seong but for the benefit of the kingdom as a whole.
    Bulguksa Temple can be said to be the realization of the Buddhist paradise in which Buddhist monks of past, present, and future live together. It clearly reveals aspects of the spiritual world of the people of Silla. While it is perfectly clear that Seokgatap Pagoda is a three-story pagoda standing on a two-story platform, it is difficult to count the number of stories of Dabotap Pagoda. In fact, even experts have diverging opinions, with some saying it is has four stories and others that it has only three. However, the uniqueness of Dabotap Pagoda can be seen in the structure of each part. Stone staircases are attached to each side of the cross-shaped platform, with an octagonal pagoda body surrounded by square railings placed upon it. It is presumed that the pagoda was built in 751 during the construction of Bulguksa Temple.
    This work is a masterpiece that beautifully expresses the complicated structure of wooden construction without any distraction by the use of through novel ideas. The work exhibits the artistic sensibility of Unified Silla through its well-organized structure consisting of squares, octagons, and circles, and in its length, width and thickness, which are standardized in every part. During the Japanese Colonial Period, the Japanese dismantled and repaired the pagoda around 1925, but they left behind no records of this work. In the process, Artifact, reliquaries, and other artifacts that must have been placed inside the pagoda all disappeared. In addition, of the four lions originally placed on the stone staircases of the pagoda, the Japanese took away three, all of which must have been in good condition. Though there have been continuous efforts to retrieve these precious cultural heritages, no trace has been found of them as yet.
  • 1962.12.20
    designated date
    Cheomseongdae is a stone building of the mid-Silla period located in the northeastern part of Banwolseong Fortress in Gyeongju.

    The astronomical observatory of the Silla Dynasty, which used to observe the movements of celestial bodies, is about nine meters high.

    It is known as the oldest observatory in the East, which was built during the reign of Queen Seondeok, and is a valuable cultural asset that shows the high level of science of the time.

    It was designated as National Treasure No. 31 on December 20, 1962.
  • 1962.12.20
    designated date
    The Three-story Stone Pagoda of Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju is a three-story stone pagoda of Silla during the period of the Northern and Southern States, located in Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju.

    The original name was Seokga Yeorae Sangjuseol Pagoda, which is commonly called Seokga Pagoda for short for short.

    The pagoda is also called "Muyeong Pagoda (a tower without shadow), which is a sad legend about Asadal, a stoneworker of Baekje who built the pagoda, who had to throw herself into the pond without meeting her husband.

    Standing side by side with the Dabotap in front of Daeungjeon Hall of Bulguksa Temple, it is designated as National Treasure No. 21 of the Republic of Korea.
  • 1962.12.20
    designated date of national treasure
    The gilt-bronze Amitabha Buddha statue of Bulguksa Temple in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, is a gilt-bronze Amitabha Buddha statue of Silla during the period of the two Koreas.

    On December 20, 1962, it was designated as the 27th National Treasure of Korea, Geumdong Amitabha Buddha, and changed its name to the current one on June 28, 2010.
  • 2009.12.21
    a date designated as a historical site
    Bulguksa Temple is a temple belonging to the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism on Mount Toham in the east of Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province. It was reconstructed on a large scale during the reign of King Gyeongdeok of Silla and King Hyegong of Silla.

    Since the Silla Dynasty, it has been contracted several times from Goryeo to the Joseon Dynasty, and was burned down during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. It is the headquarters of the 11th Diocese of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995.
  • 1963.1.21
    a date designated as a historical site
    Poseokjeong Pavilion served as a separate palace where kings enjoyed banquets with nobles. The building no longer exists, but the abalone-shaped stone water canal still remains, speculated to have been built during the Unified Silla period although the exact year is unknown. The water canal has an estimated length of 10 meters, with a width of approximately 35 centimeters and an average depth of 26 centimeters. Based on Chinese writings from 353, it is said that drinking glasses were floated on the canal. One popular party game had guests creating poems before the glass had passed nine sections of the canel. Guests who could not do this had to drink three glasses. Modern research has shown that the site was not merely a place for fun, but also served as a meeting venue for the royal family, as well as for holding memorial services.
  • 1979.4.6
    opening date
    Bomun Tourist Complex is an international tourist resort located in Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

    The Gyeongju Tourism Development Plan was finalized in August 1971, and construction began in 1974 and was designated as Bomun Tourist Complex in 1975.

    In April 1979, the first stage of construction was completed and the first site was opened as a tourist complex.

    The complex, built around Bomunho Lake, a route to the eastern Bulguksa Temple and Tohamsan Mountain district, is equipped with a tourist resort and various cultural and leisure facilities.

    The Bomun Tourist Complex was designated as a hot spring zone in 1991 and a special tourist zone in 1994.

    At Gyeongju Expo Park, where the comprehensive cultural fair will be held, there is an 82-meter-high Gyeongju Tower, which is designed with the nine-story wooden pagoda of Hwangnyongsa Temple, where you can see the Bomun Complex at a glance.

    Shilla Millennium Park, where state-of-the-art outdoor epic plays will be performed as a complex history theme park, and Tejium Gyeongju, a teddy bear exhibition space, are also popular attractions for visitors.
  • 1962.4.21
    Date of hosting
    On April 21, 1962, the 1st Silla Cultural Festival was held in Gyeongju.

    It aims to introduce and introduce a splendid cultural heritage at home and abroad by passing on and developing the culture and arts of the millennium of Silla.

    It is included for the purpose of honoring the gift of the name that inherited and saved the spirit of Hwarang (Private training group for youth in the Silla era) and contributed to the cultural and arts of Silla.
  • 1967.5.15
    Date of discovery
    On May 15, 1967, the Silla Oak investigation team announced that they had discovered the tomb of King Munmu in Silla.

    According to the Samgungnyusa (The Heritage of the Three States), King Munmu left a will that if he cremated after he died and buried it in the East Sea, he would become a dragon and prevent the Japanese invasion of the East Sea.

    It is located off the coast of Bonggil-ri, Munmudaewang-myeon, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do.

    This rock, called Daewangam, is a natural rock in the sea close to the beach, and was designated as Historic Site No. 158 in 1967.