Gyeongju's  Toham-san
Bulguk-sa
The famous  "Buddha-Kingdom Temple"
Toham-san's Bulguk-sa, one of Korea's top-20 temples, seen from the sky
Sunset over Bulguk-sa
Dabo-tap  [Pagoda of Myriad Treasures]
Bulguk-sa is probably the most heavily-visited Buddhist monastery in Korea, a favorite of
tourists and aficionados of ancient religious art.  Its name means “Buddha Kingdom Temple”,
which can be interpreted in two ways of equal validity: that its elaborate landscape
architecture represents a pilgrim’s journey to the idealized spiritual realm of the Buddhas,
and that by its magnificence it validated the Unified Shilla Dynasty’s claim and self-image
of being an authentic Buddhist nation.  

It was constructed under the inspiration and direction of Prime Minister Kim Dae-seong
between 751 and 774 CE, and its monumental architecture is still regarded as one of Korea's
finest creations.  The Seokga-tap & Tabo-tap Pagodas are especially famous and magnificent.

Burned down by Mongol invaders in the late 13th century and then left in tragic rulings for
600 years, it looks was painstakingly restored to grandeur during the 20th Century by
governmental authorities.  It has now returned to being a major functioning monastery of
the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, and contains seven official National Treasures,
more than any other single site in Korea.
Seokga-tap   [Sakyamuni Pagoda]  in front of the Dae-ung-jeon Main Hall
the Ilchul-mun Front Gate
very unusually, it reads from left to right:  To-ham-san Bul-guk-sa
Left:  a Bodhisattva carved on the
National-Treasure
Budo reliquary