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  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Restoration Projects for Baekje and Silla Architectures

    National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage
    Database for Korean History Documents
    eMuseum

    Relevant threads:
    [Official Thread] Korean Tourism Information
    Gyeongju: The Ancient Capital of Silla

    There are about 190 extant Buddhist stone pagodas designated as National Treasure in South Korea. On the other hand, there are very few extant wooden pagodas of historical significance. The first restored Baekje temple with a wooden pagoda is Neung-sa (능사/陵寺) located in Buyeo.

    Neung-sa


    The original temple site is where the national treasure named 백제금동대향로 (百濟金銅大香盧/Gilt-bronze Incense Burner of Baekje, early 7th C) was excavated.

    Gilt-bronze Incense Burner of Baekje from the site of Neung-sa (Buyeo National Museum)



    A large part of Gyeongju, the capital city of the ancient kingdom Silla, is recognized as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO.

    Quote Quote
    The Gyeongju Historic Areas contain a remarkable concentration of outstanding examples of Korean Buddhist art, in the form of sculptures, reliefs, pagodas, and the remains of temples and palaces from the flowering, in particular between the 7th and 10th centuries, of this unique form of artistic expression. The Korean peninsula was ruled for almost 1,000 years by the Silla dynasty, and the sites and monuments in and around Gyeongju bear outstanding testimony to its cultural achievements. These monuments are of exceptional significance in the development of Buddhist and secular architecture in Korea.
    The long-term restoration project for Hwang-ryong-sa (황룡사/皇龍寺), which was the biggest Silla temple in Gyeongju (called Seorabeol and other names back then), began in 2006. The entire project is expected to be finished by 2035. The wooden pagoda will be restored by 2027. More than 40,000 pieces of artifacts have been excavated from the site so far. The research is still going on and the construction will start from 2014. They haven't decided whether they will let monks reside in it yet.

    Quote Quote
    Hwangnyongsa, or Hwangnyong Temple, is the name of a former Buddhist temple in the city of Gyeongju, South Korea. Built in the 6th century, it was the center of state-sponsored Buddhism during the Silla and Unified Silla eras. Its name means "Golden/Yellow Dragon Temple" or "Emperor/Imperial Dragon Temple." Archaeological excavations and other scientific studies of the temple began in April 1976 and continue today.
    Quote Quote
    Hwangnyongsa was built during the Silla period, under the patronage of the Silla royal family, on a plain encircled by mountains near the royal palace compound of Banwolseong (Half-Moon Palace). Construction began in 553 under the reign of King Jinheung, and was not fully completed until 644. King Jinheung originally intended for the temple to be the site of a new palace but when a dragon was seen on the proposed site, a temple was commissioned instead. Hwangnyongsa was designed to be a place where monks prayed for the welfare of the nation by asking for the divine protection of the Buddha and a means to impress foreign dignitaries.

    Following the defeat of Baekje in the 660s, the Baekje architect, Abiji, was commissioned to build a nine-story wooden pagoda at the site. This fact indicates that the Baekje had superior knowledge of wooden architecture. The nine stories supposedly represented the nine nations of East Asia and Silla's future conquest of those states. The pagoda stood until it was burned by Mongolian invasions in 1238. No wooden architecture from the Silla people survives today but the ruins of Hwangnyongsa suggest a Goguryeo influence. The temple site in a valley within Gyeongju National Park near Toham Mountain and about 150 yards (140 m) from Bunhwangsa Temple, was excavated in 1972, revealing the temple layout and covering 40,000 artifacts.
    Quote Quote
    Only the massive foundation stones of the temple remain in current times. The original complex took seventeen years to complete.
    - The main hall was 155 feet (47 m) in length and 55 feet (17 m) in width.
    - The longest outer wall of the temple was 288 meters in length and the area enclosed by the outer walls covered approximately 80,000 square meters.
    - The temple ruins also contain pedestle stones which were for monumental Buddhist statues. One statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha was five meters tall.
    - The temple was originally arranged in the "three Halls-one Pagoda" style which meant that the pagoda was in the center of the complex and flanked by three main halls on the left, right, and behind the central pagoda.
    - The famous nine-story pagoda, which was commissioned by Queen Seondeok after the main temple was finished, was the largest Korean pagoda ever built. It was reported to be 224 feet (68 m) tall and the body was made entirely of wood. Only its foundation stones remain today but they attest to the mammoth proportions of the original structure. The pagoda had a foundation area of 6,084 square feet (565.2 m2), was supported by eight pillars on each side, and had sixty foundation stones.
    One of the interesting artifacts from the site is the huge ridge-edge tile called "Chimi" (치미/雉尾). It was a common architectural feature from the Three Kingdoms period to mid Goryeo.

    Typical ridge-edge tiles of the Three Kingdoms period


    Replicas of the ridge-edge tile from the site of Hwang-ryong-sa


    Foundation stones of Hwang-ryong-sa


    What restored Hwang-ryong-sa would look like


    This nine-story miniature pagoda from Bul-il-sa (불일사/佛日寺, early Goryeo) is a strong candidate model for the wooden pagoda of Hwang-ryong-sa.

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    Another high-profile restoration project is for Baekje's Mi-reuk-sa (미륵사/彌勒寺) in Iksan.

    Quote Quote
    Mireuksa was the largest Buddhist temple in the ancient Korean kingdom of Baekje. The temple was established in 602, by King Mu. The site was excavated in 1980, disclosing many hitherto unknown facts about Baekje architecture. The stone pagoda at Mireuksa is one of two extant Baekje pagodas. It is also the largest as well as being among the oldest of all Korean pagodas.

    The legend of the creation of Miruke-sa is told in the Samguk Yusa. King Mu and his queen were said to have seen a vision of the Maitreya Buddha at a pond on Mount Yonghwasan. The King promptly had the pond drained to establish the Mireuksa temple complex. The nine-storey wooden pagoda that once stood in the center of the complex is said to have been the work of Baekje master craftsman Abiji.
    The site of Mi-reuk-sa


    What restored Mi-reuk-sa would look like


    The eastern stone pagoda only had the foundation part and some broken pieces of stones. It was quickly reconstructed based on the remaining western stone pagoda from 1991 to 1992 under the order of Noh Tae Woo, the head of the last military administration. It is regarded as a very poorly done restoration work.

    Eastern stone pagoda at Mi-reuk-sa


    Unlike the eastern counterpart, the western stone pagoda retained part of its original form. It is currently being restored with much more care and resources. The work began in 1998 and is expected to be finished by 2014.

    Western stone pagoda at Mi-reuk-sa


    Dissembled western pagoda


    After dissembling the pagoda, they found 683 pieces of artifacts inside it. About 580 of them are green beads. The most important artifacts from the pagoda are sarira containers and the golden inscription (금제사리봉안기/金製舍利奉安記). The historical value of the inscription is very significant.

    Sarira containers from the western stone pagoda


    Golden inscription (금제사리봉안기/金製舍利奉安記) from the western stone pagoda


    Quote Quote
    Front: 竊以法王出世隨機赴感應物現身如水中月是以託生王宮示滅雙樹遺形八斛利益三千遂使光曜五色行遶七遍神通變化 不可思議我百濟王后佐平沙乇積德女種善因於曠劫受勝報於今生撫育萬民棟梁三寶故能謹捨淨財造立 伽藍以己亥

    Back: 年正月卄九日奉迎舍利願使世世供養劫劫無盡用此善根仰資 大王陛下年壽與山岳齊固寶曆共地同久上弘正法下化蒼生又願王后卽身心同水鏡照法界而恒明身若金剛等虛空而不 滅七世久遠并蒙福利凡是有心俱成佛道

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  3. #3
    East Asian architectural style is very unique and beautiful.
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              Ethnicity:   Westernized Mongoloid

    Quote Originally Posted by CartmanAndKyle View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    East Asian architectural style is very unique and beautiful.
    completely agree
    This is why I like Taipei 101. It is a modern skyscraper with East Asian influences.

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    Speaking of Taipei, I was also amazed with huge volumes of the art collections in the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

    Website of National Palace Museum in Taipei:

    http://www.npm.gov.tw/
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    They are building a 1/10 sized Hwang-ryong-sa pagoda. They plan to start building the real one in 2016 and it will take about 10 years to complete just the pagoda.



    Finalized plan for the pagoda.

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    ^I would like to see what the kingdom of Baekje looked like.
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    does this remind anyone of norse art?
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              Ethnicity:   Westernized Mongoloid

    Gyeongju is a good city in Korea if you want to see East Asian style architecture. Even the modern buildings (gas stations and apartment highrises) have East Asian architectural influences.

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    Gyeongju also has two UNESCO World Heritage sites such as Bulguksa (불국사佛國寺) temple and Seokguram Grotto.

    The Bulguksa temple is considered as a masterpiece of the golden age of Buddhist art in the Silla kingdom. It is currently the head temple of the 11th district of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism.

    The temple's records state that a small temple was built on this site under King Beopheung (법흥왕) in 528. The Samguk Yusa (삼국유사 三國遺事) records that the current temple was constructed under King Gyeongdeok in 751, begun by Prime Minister Kim Daeseong to pacify the spirits of his parents. The building was completed in 774 by the Silla royal court, after Kim's death, and given its current name Bulguksa (Temple of the Buddha Land).

    The temple was renovated during the Goryeo Dynasty and the early Joseon Dynasty. During the Imjin wars, the wooden buildings were burned to the ground. After 1604, reconstruction and expansion of Bulguksa started, followed by about 40 renovations until 1805.

    After World War II and the Korean War, a partial restoration was conducted in 1966. Upon an extensive archeological investigation, major restoration was conducted between 1969 and 1973 by the order of President Park Chung Hee, bringing Bulguksa to its current form. The famous stone structures are preserved from the original Silla construction.







    The stone pagoda Dabotap (다보탑 多寶塔), also known as pagoda of many treasures, is located in the temple of Bulguksa. From entering the temple through the Cheongun and Baegun Bridge, Dabotap is located on the right side, opposing Seokgatap (석가탑 釋迦塔) on the left side. The pagoda is supposed to have been built in 751, the 10th year of the Silla king Gyeongdeok (경덕왕). It is currently designated as National Treasure no. 20.

    The 3 story pagoda stands 10.4 meters tall and was built in an ornate style not seen in other Buddhist countries. The sculpture techniques used are unique for its time and include delicate features.











    Established in the 8th century on the slopes of Mount Toham, the Seokguram Grotto contains a monumental statue of the Buddha in the Bhumisparsha Mudra position looking toward the sea. With the surrounding portrayals of gods, Bodhisattvas and disciples, all realistically and delicately sculpted in high and low relief, it is considered a masterpiece of Buddhist art in the Silla Kingdom.



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    FYI, there is a thread about Gyeongju.

    황룡사9층목탑찰주본기 (皇龍寺九層木塔刹柱本記) unfolded detailed information about the pagoda.



    Outside:


    Inside:

    Link


    Quote Originally Posted by MrC View Post
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    ^I would like to see what the kingdom of Baekje looked like.
    Pay a visit to Mireuksa when it's done someday. According to Chinese records, there were many temples and pagodas in Baekje.


    Mireuksaji Relics Exhibition Museum
    Academic resources for Mireuksa (You can find schematics, images and reports in Korean.)

    There was this EBS program that depicted how Sabi (today's Buyeo) became Baekje's new capital, which was a planned city.

    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 1 (1/3)
    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 1 (2/3)
    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 1 (3/3)

    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 2 (1/3)
    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 2 (2/3) (1:40)
    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 2 (3/3)

    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 3 (1/3)
    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 3 (2/3) (10:05)
    Sabi, the Lost Future City EP 3 (3/3)

    Baekje-related museums:
    Buyeo National Museum
    Gongju National Museum
    Seoul Baekje Museum

    There are also interesting traces of Baekje in the Asuka period sites in Japan as Baekje had close ties with Yamato. As can be seen from that Silla asked Baekje architect Abiji to direct their ambitious Hwangryongsa pagoda's construction, Baekje must have had some experienced architects. Unfortunately, no wooden Baekje architecture survived but there are artifacts like this.

    Part of a bronze miniature pagoda (Baekje, 6~7th C)


    Tiles from Baekje sites.

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    ^ Yes, many of the large temples and pagodas in Japan were built with the help of Baekje experts.
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    Baekje became seafaring to send delegations and students to Southern China in the 4th C. They had trouble managing the northern coastal route when Goguryeo was pushing southward in the 5th C. Baekje took back the Seoul region in the 6th C but lost it to Silla eventually.

    Buan Jukmak-dong (부안 죽막동) ritual site for sailors' safety.





    Silla's Sa-cheon-wang-sa (사천왕사/四天王寺) site in Gyeongju. Completed in 679. It was the first temple built after Baekje and Goguryeo's fall. There is no reconstruction plan but a great deal of archaeological study has been done.


    What the main building might have looked like.


    녹유 사천왕상전 (綠釉 四天王像塼) foundation parts for the wooden pagodas. They expected four different types (四天王) but found repetition of these three types.




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