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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Gyeongju: The Ancient Capital of Silla



    Gyeongju Tourism Information
    Gyeongju National Museum
    Silla Millennium Park

    Relevant threads:
    [Official Thread] Korean Tourism Information
    Restoration Projects for Baekje and Silla Architectures

    Quote Quote
    Gyeongju (경주/慶州) is a coastal city in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang province in South Korea.

    Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla (57 BC – 935 AD) which ruled about two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries. A vast number of archaeological sites and cultural properties from this period remain in the city. Gyeongju is often referred to as "the museum without walls". Among such historical treasures, Seokguram grotto, Bulguksa temple, Gyeongju Historic Areas and Yangdong Folk Village are designated as World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Many major historical sites have helped Gyeongju become one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Korea.
    Gyeongju tour vlog of a foreign tourist


    Bul-guk-sa (불국사/佛國寺) Temple and Seok-gul-am (석굴암/石窟庵) Grotto


    Seok-gul-am's structure


    Map of Gyeongju


    Yang-dong village


    Ancient tombs of kings


    Bun-hwang-sa (분황사/芬皇寺) stone pagoda


    Observatory Cheom-seong-dae (첨성대/瞻星臺)


    Gyeongju Tower at the Expo park

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  2. #2
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    South-Korea

    Woah. I like that last building.

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  3. #3
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    For those who are interested in historic relics of the Shilla Kingdom, I would strongly recommend Gyeongju National Museum.



    My favorite golden crown (금관총금관 金冠塚金冠) at the Gyeongju National Musuem (5-6 century, national treasure # 87)


    황남대총 출토 금관 (5-6 century, National treasure # 191)
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    very nice pics...i like the golden crowns
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    The Silla queen wears the golden crown in this drama.



    There are Baekje golden crowns, too.

    나주신촌리고분출토 금동관/羅州新村里古墳出土 金銅冠 (National treasure No. 295)


    무령왕 금제관식/武寧王 金製冠飾 (National treasure No. 154)


    Baekje Earrings

    무령왕 금귀걸이: 금제심엽형이식/金製心葉形耳飾 (National treasure No. 156)


    무령왕비 금귀걸이: 금제수식부이식/金製垂飾附耳飾 (National treasure No. 157)


    There are numerous golden artifacts from Silla. I will post some pictures later.

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  6. #6
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    Silla nobles loved their Bling-blings.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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    Beyond objects of splendor, gold ornaments from Silla tombs also served as status symbols. Whereas gold earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings were appropriate accessories for both royalty and nobility, gold crowns and belts were reserved for the royal family. Furthermore, the objects' quality and design reflected the social and political rank of the deceased, so that a king's cache is indisputably more dazzling and complex than those of a royal kin or an aristocratic leader. To some degree, burial objects were also gender-coded. Decorative swords, for example, have been found only in the tombs of males. In general, however, many jewels, including elaborate earrings and necklaces, were made for members of both sexes.

    The Silla elite's desire for gold ornaments originally arose from contacts with various kingdoms of China and with the nomadic cultures of the northeast. Gold, the raw material, initially was imported but eventually must have been produced within the Silla territories to satisfy the huge demand. Scythian gold ornaments make an intriguing and visually convincing precursor to Silla gold—witness the use of the ubiquitous tree-branch motif on their respective gold crowns. Exotic objects made in Central Asia and further west to the Mediterranean have been found in several Silla tombs, testimony to the vibrant international exchanges of the time. Close similarities between the gold ornaments and crystal and jade necklaces of Silla and Japan illustrate the deep ties shared by the elites of the two neighboring kingdoms and the eastern flow of artisans and goods.

    The Silla practice of building large mound-tombs and interring scores of gold ornaments gradually declined following the official adoption of Buddhism as the state religion in 528. Instead, cremation became the standard postmortem practice. Accordingly, urns replaced jewelry as the main burial accoutrement. By the end of the sixth century, opulent ritual accessories made of gold and other precious metals were destined for Buddhist temples rather than royal tombs.

    Link
    금제태환이식/金製太環耳飾 (National treasure No. 90)


    Earrings are one of the most common forms of golden artifacts from Silla.



    금제과대/金製銙帶 (National treasure No. 192)


    금제수식/金製垂飾



    Their horses also got pimped up.



    Restored replica of a cantle made of jewel beetles


    Jewel beetles


    This blog shows many interesting artifacts from one of the Silla tombs, 황남대총 / 皇南大塚 (4~5th C). 58,000 artifacts were unearthed from that tomb alone!


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  7. #7
    whoa.. that two buildings are transparent. very nice..

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    These pictures are really great, the gold jewelry is fantastic. Too bad I won't be able to see this since I won't have very much time in Korea. Maybe there is a museum in Seoul that has some similar artifacts. Korea's rich history is fantastic. ( but I want a little blue gun to shoot that little blue bird!)
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              Ethnicity:   Han

    Quote Originally Posted by eyes2east View Post
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    ( but I want a little blue gun to shoot that little blue bird!)
    The little blue gun is called adblock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eyes2east View Post
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    Maybe there is a museum in Seoul that has some similar artifacts.
    National Museum of Korea in Seoul has some collection of Silla artifacts, too.

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  11. #11
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    Vanuatu Burkina-Faso GoSquared

    whoaa that bulgukga temple looks strikingly beautiful and that golden headgear looks fascinating! I never knew Korea had those golden things.
    It's a whole different side of South Korea How many kingdoms did Korea have?
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    ^ Shiny accessories and crafts were highly valued by nobles during the Three Kingdoms period. Silla, Baekje capitals and Gaya confederacy were in South Korea and NK's pyongyang was one of Goguryeo's capitals. Silla eventually "unified" the peninsula. Goryeo dynasty took over the craftsmanship. During the Joseon dynasty, however, nobles considered flamboyance shameful. Frugality was promoted under the strong neo-Confucian ideology in Joseon, which lasted for 500 years as the last dynasty in centralized control of the Korean peninsula.

    Quote Originally Posted by linsanity View Post
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    whoa.. that two buildings are transparent. very nice..
    It's just one building and it's not transparent. Its intaglio silhouette is from the pagoda of Hwangryongsa that I mentioned in this thread.

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyes2east View Post
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    These pictures are really great, the gold jewelry is fantastic. Too bad I won't be able to see this since I won't have very much time in Korea. Maybe there is a museum in Seoul that has some similar artifacts. Korea's rich history is fantastic. ( but I want a little blue gun to shoot that little blue bird!)
    I don't know how tight your schedule is but it's possible to make a day trip to Gyeongju, if you can wake up very early.
    It takes about 2 hour from Seoul to Gyeongju by KTX bullet train. Once you arrive in Gyeongju, there are organized tours you can join through the travel agencies at the station. Although most of the historical sites are scattered, you can visit two most important places such as Bulgusa and Seokgulam within one day. Both of these places are UNESCO world heritage sites.
    KTX from Seoul arrives in Shin Gyeongju station 신경주역(新慶州驛), not the other Gyeongju station 경주역(慶州驛) so don't be confused. There are two train stations in Gyeongju.

    Shin Gyeongju station 신경주역(新慶州驛)


    Bulguksa 불국사(佛國寺)


    Seokgulam 석굴암(石窟庵)
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    Vanuatu Burkina-Faso GoSquared

    So gold was used pre-confucius era. What did most people do with the gold? Melt it and use if for instruments/buildings or just thrown away? What about (sorry for my ignorence) the queens and kings or emperors? Throughout human history, gold gives you a high status.
    I'd love to do a Gyeongju tour.. It looks fascinating.
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    ^ I wouldn't say "pre-Confucius" era to avoid confusion. Neo-Confucianism was strongly promoted by the founders of Joseon since the 15th C long after Confucius' period. Joseon kings even issued detailed bans on fancy accessories/decorations and luxury goods.

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    You can often catch Silla-themed performances/exhibitions at Gyeongju Arts Center.




    This year's Seonhwa and Seodong couple.


    Gyeongju picks Silla Princess Seonhwa and Iksan (one of the capitals of Baekje) picks Seodong for a legend-reenacting festival. (f(x)'s Sulli played kiddy Princess Seonhwa in the TV drama "서동요 / The Ballad of Seodong" that aired in 2005 based on the legend.) You can read about the legend here. Ouchi Kimio (大內公夫), a descendant of Baekje crown prince 琳聖太子 who became the forefather of the Ouchi clan, participated in the ritual for King Mu (Seodong) this year.

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    Two new tombs were discovered in Gyeongju. The research team hasn't opened them yet.



    Anapji (a.k.a. Wolji) is an artificial pond created as part of the palace complex in Gyeongju.


    Many artifacts were discovered from the site.

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    this is clothing for nobles or imperial families??

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThienDT View Post
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    this is clothing for nobles or imperial families??
    They are for the princes and princess. Here are more varieties of Silla costumes depending on hierarchy.



    Various costumes from Silla kingdom
    commoners


    Female shaman


    Hwarang (화랑花郞) or Flower Knights, an elite group of male youth in Silla


    Offcial costume


    King


    Queen


    Costumes from three kingdoms.
    From left to right, Goguryeo woman, silla royalty, Baekjae noble man,
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThienDT View Post
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    this is clothing for nobles or imperial families??
    The headgear pieces are from a Baekje royal tomb.




    The Bell of King Seong'deok (771, Silla) is kept at Gyeongju National Museum.



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