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Interesting historical sites near Gyeongju, Korea

Bulguska Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and designated as Historic and Scenic Site Number 1 by the South Korean government; the temple is considered a masterpiece of the golden age of Buddhist art during the Silla kingdom

Bulguska Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and designated as Historic and Scenic Site Number 1 by the South Korean government; the temple is considered a masterpiece of the golden age of Buddhist art during the Silla kingdom

The seated gilt-bronze Vairocana Buddha of Enlightenment at Bulguska is 1.77 m in height and made from gilt-bronze; the temple is possibly the oldest in Korea

The seated gilt-bronze Vairocana Buddha of Enlightenment at Bulguska is 1.77 m in height and made from gilt-bronze; the temple is possibly the oldest in Korea

The three-story No Shadow Pagoda which stands at 8.2 meters is a traditional Korean-style stone pagoda with simple lines and minimal detailing; it is more than 13 centuries old

The three-story No Shadow Pagoda which stands at 8.2 meters is a traditional Korean-style stone pagoda with simple lines and minimal detailing; it is more than 13 centuries old

Bulguksa is the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and encompasses seven national treasures of South Korea, including the Dabotap and Seokgatap stone pagodas, Blue Cloud Bridge, and two gilt-bronze statues of Buddha

Bulguksa is the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and encompasses seven national treasures of South Korea, including the Dabotap and Seokgatap stone pagodas, Blue Cloud Bridge, and two gilt-bronze statues of Buddha

At the peak of Bulguksa's glory, 80 wooden buildings graced the site, ten times more than today; during the Japanese occupation of 1910-1945, some restoration work was done but some of  the temple's treasures disappeared during this time

At the peak of Bulguksa's glory, 80 wooden buildings graced the site, ten times more than today; during the Japanese occupation of 1910-1945, some restoration work was done but some of the temple's treasures disappeared during this time

Bulguska Temple lies to the east of Gyeongju and only 4 kms west of Seokguram Grotto; the temple is one of the most visited in Korea but wasn't crowded when we were there

Bulguska Temple lies to the east of Gyeongju and only 4 kms west of Seokguram Grotto; the temple is one of the most visited in Korea but wasn't crowded when we were there

The Hall of No Words, the largest and possibly oldest (670) building on the site, gets its name from the belief that Buddha's teachings can't be taught by mere words alone

The Hall of No Words, the largest and possibly oldest (670) building on the site, gets its name from the belief that Buddha's teachings can't be taught by mere words alone

Among the earliest woodblock prints in the world, a version of the Dharani sutra dated between 704 and 751 was found at Bulguksa temple in 1966

Among the earliest woodblock prints in the world, a version of the Dharani sutra dated between 704 and 751 was found at Bulguksa temple in 1966

The entrance to Bulguska is by the Blue Cloud Bridge or White Cloud Bridge, both national treasures; 17 steps lead the pilgrim through Peace Enhancing Gate and into the temple

The entrance to Bulguska is by the Blue Cloud Bridge or White Cloud Bridge, both national treasures; 17 steps lead the pilgrim through Peace Enhancing Gate and into the temple

During the late 1500's all of the buildings here were burned during a war but all were reconstructed by 1604; the first temples built on this site were erected in 528

During the late 1500's all of the buildings here were burned during a war but all were reconstructed by 1604; the first temples built on this site were erected in 528

Seokguram is an artificial grotto made from granite and is unique in design; the small size of the grotto indicates that it was probably used exclusively by the Silla royalty

Seokguram is an artificial grotto made from granite and is unique in design; the small size of the grotto indicates that it was probably used exclusively by the Silla royalty

The highlight of the Seokguram Grotto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is this statue that many consider the finest Buddhist art in the country; the 3.5 m tall Buddha was completed in 774

The highlight of the Seokguram Grotto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is this statue that many consider the finest Buddhist art in the country; the 3.5 m tall Buddha was completed in 774

Yangdong is Korea's oldest traditional clan village and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it dates from the 1400s when it was home to the aristocracy that ruled during the Josean dynasty

Yangdong is Korea's oldest traditional clan village and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it dates from the 1400s when it was home to the aristocracy that ruled during the Josean dynasty

Gwangajeong is the name of this house (it's square-shaped so this is only one side) built around 1500 for a great Confucian scholar; Yangdong lies 16 km NE of Gyeongju

Gwangajeong is the name of this house (it's square-shaped so this is only one side) built around 1500 for a great Confucian scholar; Yangdong lies 16 km NE of Gyeongju

Family shrine at the oldest house in the village, dating from the 15th century; the houses were all very large since all generations of a family lived together on the same property

Family shrine at the oldest house in the village, dating from the 15th century; the houses were all very large since all generations of a family lived together on the same property

This juniper tree at Yangdong is said to have been planted in 1459 when the village was first settled; the tree is only 7 m high but its branches spread 12 m in diameter

This juniper tree at Yangdong is said to have been planted in 1459 when the village was first settled; the tree is only 7 m high but its branches spread 12 m in diameter

Yangdong village has over 160 tile-roofed and thatched-roof homes built on forested, steep hillsides; 54 historic homes more than 200 years old (the one shown is from 1540) have been preserved

Yangdong village has over 160 tile-roofed and thatched-roof homes built on forested, steep hillsides; 54 historic homes more than 200 years old (the one shown is from 1540) have been preserved

The lotus flower symbolizes creation, livability and reproduction and is one of the most  important symbols in Korean culture; an object with a depiction of a lotus flower along with two mandarin ducks is given to young couples to wish them happiness

The lotus flower symbolizes creation, livability and reproduction and is one of the most important symbols in Korean culture; an object with a depiction of a lotus flower along with two mandarin ducks is given to young couples to wish them happiness

Posted by VagabondCowboy 03:08

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