Buseoksa Temple (Hangul: 부석사, Hanja: 浮石寺) is a Buddhist temple located near Mt. Bonghwang in Buseok-myeon, Yeongju City, Gyeongsangbuk-do, founded by the prominent scholar-monk Uisang in 676, the 16th year of Munmu of Silla. Buseoksa temple is also well known as the "Temple of the Floating Stone".

Korean Huayan school was highly celebrated here by the lectures of Uisang, who was later called the respected scholar of Buseok and later the school also gained the name Buseok school.[1] The temple houses the Muryangsujeon, which is the second oldest standing wooden building in South Korea, re-constructed in 1376.

In 1372, large numbers of annexes were re-established by the great monk Won-eung at the time under King Gongmin's reign in 1376.[2] A few buildings during Goryeo era (9th century to the late 14th century) remain until now, one of which is the main hall called Muryangsujeon located at the highest level, where Amitabha is enshrined.

Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea
UNESCO World Heritage Site
부석사 무량수전
LocationYeongju, Republic of Korea
CriteriaCultural: iii
Inscription2018 (42nd Session)
Coordinates36°59′56″N 128°41′15″E / 36.99889°N 128.68750°E
Buseoksa is located in South Korea
Location of Buseoksa in South Korea
부석사 삼층석탑 (유형문화재)
Muryangsujeon building of Buseok temple, No.18 of National Treasure of South Korea.
Korean name
Revised RomanizationBuseoksa


According to Samgukyusa, which is the oldest remaining historical record of this region, there was a Chinese lady named Sunmyo who admired Uisang while his study in Tang China. Uisang was to leave Tang after finishing his study, and she dedicated herself so deeply and ended up transforming herself into a dragon to help him go over the challenges on his way back to Shilla.

It is said she expelled the evils which blocked Uisang from building the temple at the current site. She hang huge stones high up in the sky upon heads of the evils. There is a huge "floating" stone just next to Muryangsujeon (Buseok means 'floating stone' in Korean).


In the era of Uisang were several conflicts among the norms of Buddhism. He would like to accomplish the harmonious values between denominations and among people in social context.[3] The conflicts were the impact of unification of Silla after a long war with Tang China. To harmonize subjected people, the royal power was required to establish the center of spiritual contents, one of which was to build the temples based on Uisang's Huayan school. In this way, each central area came to hold one Huayan temple in the end, leading to back off from chaotic social and political instability in the late 7th century.[4]

During Goryeo Dynasty, the temple was called as Seondal or Heunggyo temple. In 1916, stained paper was found to tell that Muryangsujeon building had been re-built in early years of Goryeo whereas there was arson of enemy in 1358. Muryangsujeon and Josadong shrine were built in 1376 and in 1377, respectively.


Buseoksa Temple (부석사) in Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea
Buseoksa in May 2018

Koreans perceive the ability to harmonize building and nature as the essence of architecture, Buseok Temple is located on a steep mountain. [5] Ancient architects sought to arrange buildings in a manner which made the maximization of the adjoining land possible, rather than digging and turning inclined land into aplain, they preferred to create a plain by building stone walls along the slope of the mountain and then arranging the buildings accordingly. [6] There are a grand total of nine stone walls on the temple grounds. Koreans regard these nine sets of stairs linked to the stone walls as representing the nine stairs toward Mandala or the nine staircases which one must traverse in order to reach Nirvana.[6]

Cultural assets

As the oldest building, the temple cherishes several assets: 5 national treasures, 8 treasures and 2 tangible regional assets.

  • National Treasures of South Korea
    • Stone lantern in front of Muryangsujeon Hall (No.17)
    • Muryangsujeon Hall of Buseoksa Temple (No.18)
    • Josadang Hall of Buseoksa temple(No.19)
    • Seated clay statue of Amitabha Buddha (No.45)
    • Wall painting in Josadang Hall of Buseoksa temple (No.46)


Buseoksa Iljumun Front

Front signboard of Ilju gate

Buseoksa Iljumun back

Rear signboard of Ilju gate

Buseoksa Iljumun Back (2)

Rear view of Ilju gate

Anyangnu Buseoksa

Current signboard of the temple written by the first president, Rhee Syngman



부석사 무량수전 처마밑
부석사 삼성각
Buseoksa, Yeongju (영주 부석사) - panoramio
Buseoksa Muryangsujeon by Contax3 1


  1. ^ "부석사". mahan.wonkwang.ac.kr.
  2. ^ "부석사(영주)". korean.visitkorea.or.kr.
  3. ^ Yeongju info for children Archived November 29, 2014, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ KOCCA
  5. ^ Yoo, Myeong-jong (2009). Temples of Korea. Myeong-jong. p. 33.
  6. ^ a b Yoo, Myeong-jong (2009). Temples of Korea. Myeong-jong. p. 34.

External links


Dancheong (Korean: 단청) refers to Korean traditional decorative coloring on wooden buildings and artifacts for the purpose of style. It literally means "cinnabar and blue-green" in Korean.

It is based on five basic colors; blue (east), white (west), red (south), black (north), and yellow (center). Dancheong has various symbolic meanings. Dancheong also represented social status and rank by using various patterns and colors. It functions not only as decoration, but also for practical purposes such as to protect building surfaces against temperature and to make the crudeness of materials less conspicuous. Applying dancheong on the surfaces of buildings require trained skills, and artisans called dancheongjang (단청장) designed the painted patterns.


Gwaebul (괘불), meaning "Large Buddhist Banner Painting," are extremely large-scale Buddhist scroll paintings found throughout Korea. They are fairly rare, and only 53 were studied between 1986 and 2001. The paintings are typically brought out only rarely for special festivals or holidays such as Buddha's Birthday or Gwaebul Festivals when they are unrolled and hung from tall poles in the temple courtyard. When not in use, gwaebul are stored in a box behind the altar in a temple hall.


Jungnyeong is a mountain pass in the Sobaek Mountains of central South Korea. It reaches a height of 689 metres (2,260 ft). It stands on the flank of Sobaeksan, which reaches more than twice that height.

The pass connects Punggi-eup, Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do with Danyang County in Chungcheongbuk-do. Although today it is little more than a tourist attraction, in past ages it played a key role in connecting the eastern and western regions of the Korean peninsula. Today the Jungang Line railroad passes underneath Jungnyeong; the tunnel is 4.5 kilometres long.

It was also of great religious significance. During the early Silla period, the kings held spring and autumn rites here in honor of the mountain gods. These practices continued into the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), when a temple to the mountain god was built here, known as "Jungnyeongsa." In addition, the area was used as a location for Buddhist worship; as Buddhism took root in Silla in the seventh century, the temples of Buseoksa, Choamsa and Huibangsa were built.

Jungnyeong is also sometimes called by the pure Korean name daejae (대재). Both names mean "Bamboo Pass."

Korean Buddhist temples

Buddhist temples are an important part of the Korean landscape. This article gives a brief overview of Korean Buddhism, then describes some of the more important temples in Korea. Most Korean temples have names ending in -sa (사, 寺), which means "temple" in Sino-Korean.

Many temples, like Sudeoksa, offer visitors a Temple Stay program.

Korean claim to Tsushima Island

The Tsushima Island dispute concerns a territorial issue about Tsushima Island (対馬), a large island in the Korea Strait between the Korean peninsula and the island of Kyushu. The island is known as the Daemado in Korean. South Korea does not officially claim the island though some South Koreans have said that Korea has a historical claim on the island and have taken steps to attempt to assert South Koreas claim.

List of World Heritage Sites in Eastern Asia

The UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) has designated 99 World Heritage Sites in 5 countries (also called "state parties") of East Asia: China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea and Japan.In this region, China is home to the most inscribed sites with number of 55. The first sites from the region (and only sites designated in the 1980s or before) were the Great Wall of China, Mount Tai, the Peking Man Site at Zhoukoudian, Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the Mogao Caves and the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, and all of them were in China. Each year, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee may inscribe new sites on the list, or delist sites that no longer meet the criteria. Selection is based on ten criteria: six for cultural heritage (i–vi) and four for natural heritage (vii–x). Some sites, designated "mixed sites," represent both cultural and natural heritage. In Eastern Asia, there are 74 cultural, 21 natural, and four mixed sites.The World Heritage Committee may also specify that a site is endangered, citing "conditions which threaten the very characteristics for which a property was inscribed on the World Heritage List." In this region there are no sites currently listed as endangered, nor have been listed previously. Possible danger listing has been considered by UNESCO in a number of other cases.Although a number of sites in Taiwan have been proposed, political considerations have prevented any site on the island from being listed. The United Nations considers Taiwan to be a territory of the People's Republic of China; any World Heritage Site in Taiwan would be the responsibility of the PRC, which does not have any de facto authority over the island. The PRC actively interferes with any proposal to list a site in Taiwan.

Local Route 28 (South Korea)

Local Route 28 Yeongju–Donghae Line (Korean: 국가지원지방도 제28호선 영주 ~ 동해선) is a local route of South Korea that connecting Yeongju, North Gyeongsang Province to Donghae, Gangwon Province.

National Treasure (South Korea)

A National Treasure (Korean: 국보; Hanja: 國寶; RR: gukbo) is a tangible treasure, artifact, site, or building which is recognized by the South Korean government as having exceptional artistic, cultural and historical value to the country. The title is one of the eight State-designated heritage classifications assigned by the administrator of the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Protection Act after deliberation by the Cultural Heritage Committee.Many of the national treasures are popular tourist destinations such as Jongmyo royal ancestral shrine, Bulguksa, Seokguram, and Tripitaka Koreana at Haeinsa. As of January 2017, there are 319 distinct entries on the list, some composed of a large number of sub-entries.[1] The treasures are numbered according to the order in which they were designated, not according to their individual value.

The National Treasures are designated within the heritage preservation system of the country.

North Gyeongsang Province

North Gyeongsang Province (Korean: 경상북도; RR: Gyeongsangbuk-do; Korean pronunciation: [kjʌŋ.saŋ.buk̚.t͈o]), also known as Gyeongbuk (Korean pronunciation: [kjʌŋ.buk̚]), is a province in eastern South Korea. The province was formed in 1896 from the northern half of the former Gyeongsang province, and remained a province of Korea until the country's division in 1945, then became part of South Korea.

Daegu was the capital of North Gyeongsang Province between 1896 and 1981, but has not been a part of the province since 1981. In 2016, the provincial capital moved from Daegu to Andong.The area of the province is 19,030 square kilometres (7,350 sq mi), 19.1% of the total area of South Korea.

Simwonsa (Seongju)

Simwonsa is a Buddhist temple of the Jogye Order in Seongju-gun, North Gyeongsan, South Korea.


Sudeoksa is a head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism. It is located on the southern slopes of Deoksungsan in Deoksan-myeon, Yesan County, South Chungcheong Province, South Korea.Sudeoksa was one of very few temples not destroyed during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–98) (the Imjin Wars). Its main hall is South Korea's oldest wooden building, having been constructed by Goryeo in 1308. This Mahavira Hall (hanja: 大雄殿) is National Treasures of South Korea 49.

Tourism in South Korea

Tourism in South Korea refers to the tourist industry in the Republic of Korea. In 2012, 11.1 million foreign tourists visited South Korea, making it the 20th most visited country in the world, and the 6th most visited in Asia. Most non-Korean tourists come from other parts of East Asia such as Japan, China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The recent popularity of Korean popular culture, often known as the "Korean Wave", in these countries has increased tourist arrivals. Seoul is the principal tourist destination for visitors; popular tourist destinations outside of Seoul include Seorak-san national park, the historic city of Gyeongju and subtropical Jeju Island. Traveling to North Korea is not normally possible without a special permission, but in recent years organized group tours have allowed groups of South Korean citizens to visit Mount Kumgang.


Uisang (625–702) was one of the most eminent early Silla Korean scholar-monks, a close friend of Wonhyo (元曉).

He traveled to China, studying at Mount Zhongnan as a student of the influential Huayan master Zhiyan (智儼) and as a senior colleague of Fazang (法藏), with whom he established a lifelong correspondence. He became an expert in Huayan (華嚴) doctrine and was the founder of the Korean Hwaeom school. Most well-known among his writings is the Beopseongge or Hwaeom ilseung beopgye do (Diagram of the Avataṃsaka Single Vehicle Dharmadhātu) (華嚴一乘法界圖). This is a commentary on his mandala-like diagram haein do ('Ocean Seal'), which consists of 210 Chinese characters that express the essence of the Huayan doctrine. A full translation can be found in the appendix to Odin, 1982.

Little is known of his early life other than his father was named Hin-sin and his family name was Kim.

He is famous for his travel to Táng China with his friend, Wonhyo. At one point they were captured by border guards and held for ten days as suspected spies but were subsequently released and expelled. Late, Wonhyo left Uisang, after unknowingly drinking water from a skull in the dark. The shock of this brought about an enlightenment experience such that he felt it was unnecessary to continue to China in search of wisdom. Dismayed, but nonetheless determined, Uisang continued on his journey eventually reaching China by sea.

A Korean folk story relates how, when he was young, Uisang fell in love with a beautiful girl, Myo Hwa ("Delicate Flower") but she was chosen by the king of Silla to be sent as a gift to the Chinese Emperor thus thwarting their relationship. This turned Uisang to the religious life and he became a monk. Myo Hwa in desperation tried to commit suicide on the journey in China by throwing herself in the river. However, she was rescued and nursed back to health by a family who subsequently adopted her. Many years later she met Uisang on his travels to China but he explained that he was now a monk and could not go back with her to Silla as she wished. However, he said he would visit her when his studies in China were complete. This he did ten years later. Unfortunately, Myo Hwa was not at home so Uisang left her a note and hurried to get his ship back to Silla. Myo Hwa returned and realized she had just missed him and ran down to the sea to try and catch him before he left. The ship however had already left the shore and in desperation she leapt in the water. As she hit the water she was magically transformed into a dragon by the strength of her love and she was able to follow the ship back to Silla.

Safely arrived in Silla, Uisang went on to found Buseoksa, a temple in the Gyeongsangbuk-do (North Gyeongsang) mountains. The temple name means "Floating Rock" and is derived from an incident in which Myo Hwa, as a dragon, scares away some bandits by magically raising a bolder into the air. She is said to have transformed herself into a rock to continue protecting the site and her lover, Uisang. (Story related by Sunin, 1987).

Uisang is often referred to as the "Temple Builder" because of the number of temples he established or extended during his lifetime.


Yeongju (Korean pronunciation: [jʌŋ.dʑu]) is a city in the far north region of North Gyeongsang province in South Korea, covering 668.84 km2 with a population of 113,930 people according to the 2008 census. The city borders Bonghwa county to the east, Danyang county of North Chungcheong province to the west, Andong city and Yecheon county to the south, and Yeongwol county of Gangwon province to the north.Buseoksa Temple in Yeongju is outstanding as a representative temple of the Avatamsaka Sect of Silla Buddhism. Sosu Seowon is the first Seowon (Confucian academy) to have had national financial support by way of tax exemptions.

Yeongju is also home to a large Novelis Aluminum plant, employing approximately 1000 workers. This plant provides flat-rolled aluminum sheet products to customers throughout Asia.

Yi Sang Literary Award

The Yi Sang Literary Award (이상문학상) is a South Korean literary award. It is one of South Korea's most prestigious literary awards, named after Yi Sang, an innovative writer in modern Korean literature. The Yi Sang Literary Award was established in 1977. It is sponsored by the Korean publisher Munhaksasangsa and has become one of the most prestigious literary awards in South Korea.


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