Gyeongju (South Korea)
According to Thesciencetutor, Gyeongju is located 360 km southeast of Seoul. Gyeongju was the capital of the Silla state from the 4th to the 10th centuries. The most skillful masters of the state lived here, who created outstanding architectural structures. Today, the city has many ancient monuments, thanks to which Gyeongju was named a World Cultural and Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO. In 647, the Jeomseongdae observatory was erected in the city. It is the oldest surviving observatory in the world. At night, it is illuminated. Near the observatory there is a park of tombs – Tumuli Park which is a great place for walking. The oldest burials in the park date back to 284. But today, only one tomb is allowed to visit – the tomb of Choma-chen. This burial has 1 room where the king is buried and everything necessary for his afterlife. On the other side of the Jeomseongdae Observatory, Anapji Pond is interesting, on the banks of which a summer royal palace stood in the Silla era. To the south is the National Museum. The museum houses items from the Silla era, most of which were recovered from tombs. Further south is the Nam-san burial area, where there are about a hundred Buddhist temples, 70 pagodas and many images of the Buddha carved in stone. The “pleasure garden” Posok-jeon with statues of Buddha is interesting here.
In the northern part of Gyeongju, a whole resort area has been created around Pomun Lake with many hotels, golf courses, shopping centers and restaurants. The monasteries of Bunhwan-sa and Hwangnyeong-sa are also located near Lake Pomun. Only a three-tiered stone pagoda has survived from the Bunghwan-sa monastery of the middle of the 7th century, in the architecture of which Indian motifs can be traced. Opposite is the Buddhist complex Hwangnyeong-sa, which in the Silla era was the most grandiose building of the state. Its pagoda had a height of 70 m. The complex was destroyed during the invasion of the Mongols, but now projects are underway to restore it. Sendo-san Park is located in the western part of Gyeongju. with pine forests, among which is the tomb of Taejon Muyol, the burial hill of which reaches a height of 11 m. Taejon laid the foundation for the unification of the Three States.
In the eastern part of Gyeongju is the Tohom-san area, where the Bulguk-sa monastery and the Seokgu-ram cave temple are located. 8th century. The first buildings of Bulguk-sa Monastery appeared on Toham-san Hill in 528, construction was completed in 774. To this day, the monastery has practically not survived, but at the end of the 20th century, restoration was carried out, during which some buildings were rebuilt, and the monastery was revived. On its territory there are many relics. Among them are the oldest printed work of Dharani (704), the Emille bell (3.78 m in height and 2 m in diameter), stone bridges over 1200 years old and three altar statues of Buddha (Shakyamuni Buddha, the incarnation of Buddha – Deepamkara and Buddha of the future) at the Dae-jeong Pavilion. To the east of Bulguk-sa, a small temple of Sokku-sa is located in a cave. It was built in 751. You can admire the temple only through the glass that closes the entrance to the cave, only once a year – on December 22 at sunrise the temple is open to visitors. A three-meter statue of Buddha is kept here, and the walls of the temple are decorated with numerous statues and bas-reliefs made on the theme of Buddhist teachings.
Northwest of Bulguk-sa Monastery is a folk craft village where you can see traditional houses, workshops for making porcelain, jewelry, fabric and embroidery, a museum with models of Gyeongju sights, and buy souvenirs.
Not far from Gyeongju in the Sea of Japan is the only underwater tomb where King Munmu is buried. In addition, in the vicinity of Gyeongju , the Ulleung-do island is interesting, which can be reached from the city of Pohang. The island is an extinct volcano rising steeply from the waters of the Sea of Japan. Dokdo Island is located 87 km southeast of Ulleung-do, which is the easternmost point of the Republic of Korea.