Bongjeongsa Temple - 봉정사 (鳳停寺) (built 1363 onward)
Bongjeongsa (or Pongch�ngsa) is said to have been founded in 672 during the reign of King Munmu of Unified Silla. Legend says that the Buddhist Priest Uisang, the national preceptor of Silla, chose the site after a paper phoenix he released at nearby Buseoksa temple landed here.
An inscription found in one of the halls suggests that the temple was actually founded by Neungin-daedeok, a disciple of Uisang, and repaired many times thereafter. The last major reconstruction took place in 1363 during the reign of King Gongmin of the Goryeo (Kory�) dynasty, suggesting that Bongjeongsa's main hall is the oldest wooden building in Korea. A smaller renovation again took place in 1625 during the reign of King Injo of Joseon (Chos�n), notwithstanding the dynasty's generally anti-Buddhist sentiment.
Bongjeongsa's main hall is one of the few specimens of Goryeo wooden architecture left in Korea. It is notable for the use of column-head brackets and curved bracketing, a style probably imported from Song China, with whom the Goryeo rulers maintained regular contact and were on friendly terms. Later in the dynasty the sort of bracketing found here gave way to a multi-clustered bracketing inherited from the Yuan, whereby clusters of brackets sat not just on the column heads, but between the columns on the beams as well.
(Designated Treasure #55).
The approximate location of the base of the temple is 36.652812' N, 128.662701' E (WGS 84 map datum). Address: 경북 안동시 서후면 태장리 901.
All images copyright 1998 Timothy M. Ciccone and Abraham C. Ahn.
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Korean Office of Cultural Properties