Thursday, January 28, 2010

Discovering Gyeongsangbuk-do – Yeongcheon-si Part 2

Sorry this post is later than scheduled; I had a little mishap with my computer. I was in the middle of writing this post when my computer was hit by a lightning-induced power surge and my computer went ‘kaput’. I had no time to save my documents and everything was lost including my almost completed post and my notes. So I had to rewrite everything from scratch, double the amount of work as well as time spent on doing it. If not for my grand-nephew who so kindly donated his old computer to me (he just bought a new one) I don’t think I will be able to continue this blog as I do not have the budget for a new computer right now. What rotten luck, I had the replacement computer but then my Internet provider had some network problem and I could not go on-line, thus causing further delay as I had to wait some more.
Today I’m going to tell you about some of the festivals of Yeongcheon such as the Yeongcheon Herb Medicine Festival, the Yeongcheon Citizens' Festival, the Yeongcheon Culture Arts Festival, the Bohyeon-San Starlight Festival, the Choe Mu-seon Science Festival and the Yeongcheon Fruits Festival.

The Yeongcheon Herb Medicine Festival

Yeongcheon Herb Medicine Festival
Since ancient times, Yeongcheon has been famous for the gathering of medicinal herbs and is now well known for its advanced oriental medicine. 
Yeongcheon holds the Yeongcheon Herb Medicine Festival every October in order to systemize the traditional oriental medicine industry and to make the growing of medicinal herbs  its major local industry.
During the herbal medicine festival, there will be events such as a competition for cutting medicinal herbs, free diagnosis of the individual physical constitution, free medical examination and treatment with oriental medicine, skin care using Oriental herbal medicine, lectures on Oriental medicine, There will also be a variety of performances at night.

The Yeongcheon Chinese Herbal Medicine Distribution Complex handles 30% of the national distribution of Chinese herbs. A variety of Chinese herbal medicines can be bought at a cheap price and it is easy to access it since it is near the Gyeongbu Express Highway.
The Yeongcheon Chinese Herbal Medicine Town in Wansan-dong, Yeongcheon city is comprised of 110 Chinese Herbal Medicine stores which sell high-quality Chinese herbal medicine. Recently it has gone on-line so that it now distributes Chinese herb medicine nationwide.
The Yeongcheon Citizens' Festival
Yeongcheon Citizens' Festival
The street gets crowded whenever the  Yeongcheon Citizens' Festival starts in October every year. Various  events are held everywhere, emphasizing on the traditional cultures and which also provide the stage for 120,000 Yeongcheon residents to get together. Some of the events include fireworks, a pungmul performance, a folk festival, a writing contest and sports events.

Yeongcheon Culture Arts Festival 

The Yeongcheon Culture Arts Festival, also held in October, at the Yeongcheon Cultural Center, Civil Center  is hosted to promote harmony and unity among its’ residents and to develop a creative and future-oriented culture. Various exhibitions, folk plays, song contests, martial arts contests, music performance and the Yeongcheon Gotnamu Competition are held.

Yeongcheon Bohyeon-san Astronomical Observatory

The Bohyeon-san Astronomical Observatory, one of the 3 largest astronomical observatories in Korea, is located at the top of Bohyeon-san.
It is used to observe the movements and the changes of celestial bodies and creation and evolution of the universe.
Bohyeon-san (mountain) Astronomical Observatory provides a panoramic view of the Bohyeon-san ridges.

The Bohyeon-San Starlight Festival
Bohyeon-San Starlight Festival
The Bohyeon-San Starlight Festival is held around the Bohyeon-san Astronomical Observatory and around Yeongcheon city each  May, which will give one the chance to experience the mystery of the universe. During the festival,  astronomical observations through small telescopes, an amateur astronomical camp, a pictorial display of an astronomical observation,  an exhibition of Astronomical observation equipment, a seminar on astronomy and farm village visits, will be held.

Choe Mu-seon Science Festival
Choe Mu-seon Science Festival

This festival is held in commemoration of Gen. Choi Mu-sun who was a general during the late Goguryo Dynasty and the weaponry inventor of weapons using gunpowder. It is held every April where a memorial service will be held in front of the Choi Mu-seon Memorial Monument. Some of the programs include a science competition, a science composition contest, and visits to historic places.
Choi Mu-Seon(1325~1395)
General Choi Mu-Seon was born in Geumho-eup, Yeongcheon city.
He met Lee Won from the Chinese Yuan Dynasty who knew how to make gunpowder, and whom he allowed to stay at his home in 1376. Choi learned the manufacturing method of gunpowder from Lee and succeeded to make gunpowder for the first time in Korea.
Later, he suggested that the Royal court establish the Hwatongdogam (government office in charge of manufacturing gunpowder using weapons) in 1377.           

He prepared the nation for the possible attack of Japanese pirates by manufacturing various gunpowder-using weaponries and warships.                             
And he contributed a lot in the sinking of 500 vessels of Japanese pirates at Jinp by manufacturing a variety of gun powder using weapons.
The Yeongcheon Fruits Festival
Yeongcheon Fruits Festival
Yeongcheon is famous for the highest quality grapes in the country due to its climate of low rainfall and plenty of daylight. Various programs are being hosted to widely promote the excellence of the Yeongcheon grapes, the local specialty.

Yeongcheon Fruits Festival 01

The festival is usually held Aug ~ Oct of each year where a thanksgiving ceremony for a fruitful year will be held. Besides that there will be a selection for grape ladies, the operation of a farmer’s market for grapes, an exhibition of grape foods and the experiencing of grapes harvesting.

Chi-san Waterfall

Yeongcheon Chi-san Waterfall
The Chi-san Waterfall has the highest water level and the largest water capacity among all the waterfalls scattered around Palgong-san. In summer, the temperature of the water in Chi-san waterfall is cold enough to make your hands feel icy. But you can take away the sizzling heat if you put your feet in the water. In winter, it is frozen hard so that it is used as the practice ground for mountain climbers to climb ice ridges. There are fantastic rocks and stones which take a variety of shapes around here and the dense forests further enhance its attractiveness.

The Chi-san valley where nature has been kept intact is the perfect tourist attraction where people can have a taste of nature. 
Yeongcheon city is creating a tourism resort around this area by building a grand size amusement park covering 82,000 Pyeong so that its citizens can enjoy satisfying leisure activities. A large parking lot, lake side picnic areas and playgrounds for children have been built.

Yeongcheon Local Food

Let’s see what the food in Yeongcheon taste like shall we? Dishes which stimulate one's appetite and foster a pleasant atmosphere. Dishes which have a piquant salty taste which is typical of Gyeongsang-do's cuisine. But they are still plain and neat. In Yeongcheon, there is a taste that a mother creates, which evokes a taste of one's hometown.

Hanwoo-Sootbulgalbie (Korean beef ribs grilled on a charcoal fire)

Yeongcheon Hanwoo-Sootbulgalbie

High quality Yeongcheon beef is roasted with special spices and condiments. The taste of the tender and plain meat combined with fresh vegetables is excellent

Sooyuk (boiled beef)

Yeongcheon Sooyuk

Modernized Yeongcheon market place is famous for its 'boiled beef alley' which is the well known eating place. The taste of the boiled beef wrapped in vegetables is special.

Dakbaeksook (chicken boiled with rice)

Yeongcheon Dakbaeksook

Many people visit Yeoncheon to taste  chicken boiled in mineral water (Hwangsu-tang.) The taste of the boiled chicken is chewy and tender and simple with low fat thanks to that mineral water used to boil the chicken.

Sanchae bibimbap (boiled rice with edible mountain herbs)

Yeongcheon Sanchae bibimbap

Sanchae bibimbap is chemical-free natural food of high nutritive value, which is made with various wild edible greens grown around Eunhae-sa temple. It is effective for those who suffer from high-blood pressure and diabetes and is the best food to help stimulate one's appetite thanks to its unique taste and aroma.

Hanwoo(Korean beef cattle) Sootbul complex

Yeongcheon Hanwoo

Hanwoo Sootbul Complex is a group of eateries situated in front of the Donam industrial park next to the Gyeongbu Express Highway The taste is the best in that Yeongcheon Hanwoo (Korean beef cattle) bred in the environmentally friendly facilities according to well coordinated program for producing high-quality meat, is grilled over a charcoal fire.
It’s a good thing Yeoncheon has 114 cultural assets to keep us busy, with things to see and do while we are here. We have already seen a few of the temples and seowans, including some of the cultural assets. So today we can visit some of the famous old houses and a few of the other places of interest in Yeongcheon. To start off let’s visit the Jeong Jaeyeong's house in Yeongcheon or Yeongcheonjeongjaeyeongssigaongmitsansujeong, Important Folklore Material #24, in Sammae-ri, Imgo-myeon including the Haengnangchae(Servant's quarters), the Sarangchae (Master's quarters), the Anchae(Housewife's quarters), the Sadang or family shrine and the Sansujeong.

Yeongcheon Jeong Jaeyeong's house 01

The house sits in what is considered a propitious site, according to the theory of Feng Shui, the geomantic theory.
Jeong Junggi (1685-1757) began with  the construction of this house but it was completed by his second son Jeong Ilchan.
This house comprises of the anchae or the women's quarters, the sarangchae or the men's quarters, the sansujeong, ( a separate room for the use of the master of the house), the haengnangchae (servant's quarters) and the family shrine.
The anchae, which is also the main building of the house, comes to view when one steps into the yard through the front gate.
The men's quarters and the raised wooden-floor with railing encircles the whole wing at an angled position. The three-compartment gate wing is linked with the high wall at both sides.
The main house comprises of an inner wooden-floor hall at the center, a master bedroom and a kitchen in the left, which is characteristic of the architecture of houses in the Yeongnam province at that time.

Yeongcheon Jeong Jaeyeong's house  Sansujeong

Yeongcheon Jeong Jaeyeong's house The handrail of Sansujeong pavilion
And Sansujeong, a separate room of the men's quarters, is connected to the eastern living room for the master of the house. This is a valuable resource in the study of traditional Korean architecture, topography and folk life of the late Joseon Dynasty.

The Haengnangchae (Servant's quarters) of the Jeong Jae-yeong House in Yeongcheon are a 3-kan (intercolumnar space, a length of about 6 feet) structure with the main gate at the center, a barn on the left and a servant’s room on the right.
The building has a gabled roof.
The facade of the residence consists of the main gate and the long walls that stretch out from the sides of the gate.

Yeongcheon Jeong Jaeyeong's house Sarangchae Master's quarters 01

The master’s quarters of the Jeong Jae-yeong House  are unique in the layout of the rooms, a rectangular structure is annexed to a 2-kan (intercolumnar space, a length of about 6 feet) room which was used as the master’s study (sarangbang).
The building has a half-hipped roof.
The master’s study is divided into the upper and lower rooms.
The back room  at the end of the lower room has a door to the inner court.
A bell rope hung in front of the room was used as a call sign: the bell rings when one pulls the rope.
In the building adjacent to the upper room, there is a room for books and a wooden-floored veranda which is surrounded by  railings.

Yeongcheon Jeong Jaeyeong's house Anchae Housewife's quarters

The women’s quarters of the Jeong Jae-yeong House  have a 6-kan (intercolumnar space, a length of about 6 feet) main hall in the middle.
On the left side of the main hall are an inner room (anbang), a kitchen, and a wooden-floored room; on its right are a small back room, a wooden-floored room, and a storeroom.
The building has a gabled roof.
The layout of the inner room and kitchen follows the construction style of the southeastern part of Korea (the Yeongnam region).
Round pillars are present both at the front and the rear of the main hall.
The back of the main hall is closed with hinged double doors.

Jeong Yongjun's house in Yeongcheon

Jeong Yongjun's house in Yeongcheon 01 
The Yeongcheonjeongyongjunssigaok(Jeong Yongjun's house in Yeongcheon), Important Folklore Material #107, in Seonwon-ri, Imgo-myeon is another important old house.
This house, built on a large site with a pond by the great-great grand father of Jeong Yongjun, the present owner of this house, is composed of the Bonchae (the main quarter) and a pavilion, a separate house.
The buildings of this house, such as Anchae (quarter for women), Sarangchae (quarter for men), Araechae (separate house), and a quarter for sheds, which are all ㅁ-shaped, face in the southwest direction while the pavilion, which is located beside the pond, faces to the south standing apart from other buildings.

The Ilsimdang

Jeong Yongjun's house in Yeongcheon Main hall of housewife qrs

The anchae (wife’s quarters) of Jeong Yong-jun’s house consists of a large main living room, a large daecheong (wooden-floored hall) and a room across the main living room.
They are arranged in a straight line.
Down the main living room are located a large kitchen and a long storeroom.
The L-shaped house building is a structure frequently found in Yeongnam (another name for Gyeongsang-do) areas.

The kitchen and the shed of the separate house, facilitated with a cowshed, a mill, and a shed, stands facing each other, and a treadmill is equipped in the mill.
The Sarangchae, located to the right of the gate, has a room for men, a main hall, a shed, and a living room.

The quarter for sheds is located to the left of the gate. The pond, which was made by expanding the width of a little valley flowing over outside the yard of this house, doesn't look an artificial one.
And the pavilion consists of a hall and an Ondal (floor heating system)-room.
The main building, the pavilion, and the pond with a very effective structure indicate the love of nature, the life-value, and the wisdom of the builder.

The sarangchae (husband’s quarters) of Jeong Yong-jun’s house consists of a sarangbang (husband’s room), a daecheong (wooden-floored hall), the main gate, a storeroom, a jageunsarang (small room for husband) and a floored room.
They are arranged in a straight line.
The main gate is connected to the munganchae (entrance section) on the left side.
The Sarangbang has the ondol (underfloor heating) system and on the three sides of the daecheong are fixed hinged doors to make up for the sarangbang’s narrowness.

Jeong Yongjun's house in Yeongcheon Servants Qrs

The Haengnangchae(Servant's quarters) of Jeong Yong-jun’s house connects the anchae (wife’s quarters) and the sarangchae (husband’s quarters) in a straight line.
The haengnangchae consists of a cowshed, a mill and a storeroom.
Equipped with a treadmill, the mill stands facing the storeroom in the anchae.

The Yeonjeongmityeonmot is a pond and a pavilion in a valley outside Jeong Yong-jun’s house in Yeongcheon.
Here, one can feel the quiet and secluded atmosphere of a deep mountain village.
The pond was made artificially using the valley water but it looks quite natural, and the pavilion consists of an ondolbang (underfloor-heating room) and a daecheong (wooden-floored hall).

The Byeongwayihyeongsangyupum (Relics of Yi Hyeongsang) Important Folklore Material #119 can be found at 97-1 Ssanggye-dong  Yeongcheon-si.

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang
Byeongwa Yi Hyeongsang (1653~1733) was the 10th grandson of Hyoryeongdaegun.
He passed the state-run Byeolsimun examination in the sixth year of King Sukjong and he successively filled various Government posts such as Hojojwarang. 
He was recommended as the proper person,  skilled in both the literary and military arts, and resumed  his new post as a Geumsangunsu (a county headman).
He repressed all thieves and governed wisely there.
He was appointed as Hojochamui in the third year of King Yeongjo but he retired soon after. He then built Hongyeonjeong in Yeongcheon and devoted himself to learning. 

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Seals
His relics consist of 23 pieces of registered seal, nine Hopae (identity tags), a Korean lute, nine pieces of arrow, six chinstraps of a Korean hat and four Gwanja (headband buttons of gold or jade beads). Most seals are engraved with his name and pen name but quite a number belonged to his descendants.

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Hopae Identity tag
Hopae was issued whenever he passed the exams, and some of them belonged to his descendants.

  Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Geomungo string musical instrument
A Korean lute, made from a blighted birch tree in Baengnokdam, Mt. Hallasan was presented to him by an unknown old man  when he was an administrator of Jeju for his wise administration.
There is also the Dangeummyeong with the prelude engraved on it.
The baton was made of ivory and he carried it when he wore the government uniform.  

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Okpiri Jade pipe

A gem flute was damaged and divided into two.
It showed that he was interested in music and was well versed in it. So he wrote lots of books on it. 

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Kal Knife

Among the relics are the Gokdo (a kind of knife) and two pieces of silver-decorated knives. The Jangdo (an encased ornamental knife) is 67.8 cm long and 3 cm wide and its grip is 12.3 cm long. It shows the changes of the style of Jangdo after the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592. 

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Pyojubak Gourd

A small gourd was designed to be worn on the waist 

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Byeoru Inkstone 
An ink stone in a black lacquer case

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Ibyeong Hat

The chinstraps of a Korean hat

Yeongcheon Relics of Yi Hyeongsang Gwanja    
   Gwanja (headband buttons of gold or jade

All their qualities show his power then.
We can find his nobility from these relics and they are regarded as the precious folk materials that cannot be found nowadays.

The Orijangnim forest in Jacheon-ri, Yeongcheon, Natural Monument #404, was planted with trees to act as a windbreaker in the 1580s. At present, 280 trees of 12 species including the Oriental Cork Oak Tree are growing in the forest. It was called the "Orijangnim" because the length of this forest is "Ori" meaning 2km. This forest is also known as the "Jacheon forest".
To this day, the villagers perform a ceremony for peace every January 15.
Since the forest is valuable in locality, ethnicity and biology, it is designated and protected as a Natural Monument.

Yeongcheon Parknogyejippanmok

Parknogyejippanmok(Wood blocks for printing Nogye's poems) Tangible Cultural Properties #68.
The 99 wood blocks here are for printing a collection of poems by Park Inro(1561-1642), one of the greatest posts of the Joseon Dynasty(1392-1910).
Also known by his pen names Nogye and Muhaong, Park was born in Yeongcheon, and excelled in poetry since childhood.
He served as a naval officer during the Japanese Invasions of 1592-98 and composed many patriotic poems during the war years.
A follower of Taoism, Park wrote lyrics glorifying the beauty of nature and life in the countryside.
His poems written both in Chinese and Korean contributed much to the development of Korean poetry.
The collection of poems, these print blocks represent, comprises of three chapters in two volumes. (9985 sheets in all)
They include seven of his best long poems and 68 short Sijo lyrics, which are all regarded as gems of Korean literature.

The Jayangseodang(Jayangseodang village school) in Sammae-ri Tangible Cultural Properties #78.
This village school is said to have been established in 1546 by Kim Eungsaeng, the third minister in the Ministry of Taxation during the reign of King Myeongjong(1545-67) in his hometown in Nohang-dong, Jayang-myeon.
The present structure, which appears to be the work of a much later construction, was dismantled and rebuilt here in 1967 due to the construction of the Yeongcheon Dam. 
A surrounding wall and a  gate were added at the time.                                    
Comprising of a wooden hall that served as a reading room and a dormitory to accommodate live-in scholars, the simple school house lacks the front veranda that usually accompanies such a building.
A plaque inscribed with the calligraphy of Yi Hwang (Toegye, 1502-70) hangs on the wall.
General Kim Wan, whose memorial tablet is enshrined in Dongningak near here, is the third son of Kim Eungsaeng.

And so ends our visit to Yeongcheon-si. Hope that you had a good time. See you again soon.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Discovering Gyeongsangbuk- do – Yeongcheon-si Part 1

Remember the song “ look for a star?” Looks like we’ll be looking for one today, the Star Yeongcheon, a dear town and a wealthy Yeongcheon, so it says on the homepage. The people have vision too and have set very high goals for the future of Yeongcheon.

Vision of Yeongcheon

City Emblem
Yeongcheon City Emblem
The entire shape of the city emblem embodies the first Korean letter of Yeongcheon. The upper green shape contains the image of Bohyeon-san (mountain) and the blue part at the bottom represents Geumho-gang (river), and the red oval in the middle symbolizes the passionate image of Yeongcheon citizens

Yeongcheon City Flower-Rose
City Flower-Rose

Rose represents eternity and its glamorous petals and fragrance embody the pride of citizens who pursue future-oriented beauty

City Bird-Pigeon
Yeongcheon City Bird-Pigeon
A Pigeon's white feather combined with green metal luster symbolizes prosperity and its mild character represents cooperative and peaceful characters of local residents.

Yeongcheon  City Tree-Ginkgo Tree
City Tree-Ginkgo Tree

A ginko tree that stretches straight upward symbolizes endless progress and great improvement of the city and its fanlike leaves represent unity and harmony.

Brand Slogan
Yeongcheon Brand Slogan
  • Achieve a dream of being the nation's best world-class city in all fields, such as high-tech industries, cultural tourism, social welfare, first-class education and advanced agriculture.
  • Express the shape of the "best of the stars", "nature of the stars" and "harmony of the stars" in calligraphy(by a brush).
  • The shape in green is a high spirit of Mt. Bohyeon, the shape in blue is a clear spirit of Geumho River and the three primary colors, red, blue and green means the symbol of Yeongcheon-si.
Map of Yeongcheon si Districts

Map of Gyeongsangbuk-do Provinces

Yeongcheon is made up of 1 eup, 10 Myeons and 5 Dongs and has for its neighbours, Cheongsong-gun and Gunwi-gun to the north, Gyeongju city and Pohang city to the east, Gyeongsan city and Daegu Metropolitan City to the west and Cheongdo-gun to the south.

Yeongcheon Yeongsanjeon Hall at Geojoam Hermitage in Eunhaesa Temple

The Yeongsanjeon Hall of Geojo-am Hermitage of Eunhaesa Temple or Eunhaesageojoamyeongsanjeon in Sinwon-ri Cheongtong-myeon has been designated National Treasure #14.
Yeongcheon Geojo-am TempleGeojo-am(hermitage), originally called Geojo-sa(temple) is said to have been built either in 738, the second year in the reign of King Hyoseong(737-42) of the Silla Kingdom(57 B.C.-A.D.935) or sometime during the reign of King Gyeongdeok(742-64)as an independent temple, by Monk Wonchamjosa, much earlier than the Eunhaesa Temple to which it now belongs.

However, it is not clear when it was changed from a temple to a hermitage and when it became affiliated with Eunhaesa.

Yeongcheon Yeongsanjeon Hall at Geojoam Hermitage in Eunhaesa Temple 02

The Yeongsanjeon Hall was built in 1375 and has been renovated many times as shown in a calligraphic record found in the building when it was dismantled for repairs.

 Yeongcheon Yeongsanjeon Hall at Geojoam Hermitage in Eunhaesa Temple 03   Yeongcheon Yeongsanjeon Hall at Geojoam Hermitage in Eunhaesa Temple 07     

The Yeongsan-jeon is a 5 partitioned matbaejip(a gable house) which takes the shape of a simple and neat Jusimpo style(the sides of its roof slanting at a 45º angle on each side), typical features of the Goguryo Dynasty's architecture. This building, with seven compartments on the front and three compartments at the sides and gable-roof shaped like the Chinese character of 人, stands on stone stairways.

Yeongcheon Yeongsanjeon Hall at Geojoam Hermitage in Eunhaesa Temple 06  Yeongcheon Yeongsanjeon Hall at Geojoam Hermitage in Eunhaesa Temple 01

The bracket and beam arrangements, the truss and its support under the roof ridge are of an ancient architectural style, though the decorative carvings indicate that much of the original structure was altered when it was repaired during the early Joseon era(1392-1910).

Yeongcheon Yeongsanjeon Hall at Geojoam Hermitage in Eunhaesa Temple 04

Yeongcheon Yeongsanjeon Hall at Geojoam Hermitage in Eunhaesa Temple 05
A statue of Buddha and 526 stone Arhans, or Buddha's disciples, are enshrined in the building.

The three-storey stone pagoda in front of the Yeongsanjeon is believed to have been from the closing days of the Silla Kingdom.

Yeongcheon Eunhae-sa 01 The Eunhaesa Temple is said to have been built in the first year of King Heondeok's reign (809) of the Silla Dynasty (57B.C.-A.D.935), and was called Haeansa Temple at first.

The Eunhae-sa was one of the 5 head temples in the Gyeongbuk area and one of the 31 head temples of the Joseon Dynasty and is the head temple of the 10th parish of Korean Buddhism Jogyejong. As the representative temple in Gyeongbuk provincial area, it is famous for the enshrining  of the Amita Buddha.

Calligraphy on hanging boards on Daewoong-jeon, Bohwa-ru and Baekheung-am (temple), etc. are all works of Kim Jeong-hee, a noted calligrapher of the Joseon Dynasty so that it is worth while to carefully observe those calligraphies.

This temple owns such cultural assets as Gwaebultaeng (Treasure No. 1270) and Daewoong-jeon (main temple) the Amita 3 Buddhas, which well matches its fame as the millennium ancient temple. And these cultural assets are well classified and preserved with the construction of the Seongho Museum.

Eunhae-sa is also home to the Eunhae-sa Wunbu-Am Cheongdongbosal(bronze Buddha elect) Sitting Statue Treasure # 514, and the Eunhae-sa Baekheung-am Geukrak-jeon Treasure # 486.
Yeongcheon Eunhae-sa wunbu-Am Cheongdongbosal(bronze Buddha elect) Sitting Statue 
The Eunhae-sa wunbu-Am Cheongdongbosal (sitting statue) is similar to the Geonchilbosal-zoasang at Jangryuk-sa, of the Joseon Dynasty and Geumdongbosal-zoasang at Daeseung-sa and Gapjang-san which is estimated to be the work of the late 15th century judging from the perspective of the size, formation, and decoration.

It shows well the typical bosal(a Buddhist saint ) statue of the late Goguryo Dynasty with fabulous decoration of Yeongrak-jangsik(ornament made with beads, etc) on bust, shoulder, abdomen, knee and the cozy size of stable posture and oval face with long upward slanting eyes On the other hand, the presentation of underwear tied with a band under the W-shaped breast, wimple slipped down over the two feet, etc shows that it is the bosal statue of the magnificent and stern style of the early Joseon Dynasty, which shows improvement over the statue of Jangruk-sa and the more ancient style than Daeseung-sa and Gapjang-sa.

Yeongcheon Eunhae-Sa Goaebultaeng
The form of Goaebul-hwa(a big picture of Buddha to hang on the wall) became dramatically simple in 18th century compared with that of the early years of Goaebul-hwa.

And it became clear that the form of Goaebul-hwa changed to show the image of only 1 Buddha rather than 3 Buddhas in the early ages. Goaebul-hwa in Eunhae-sa was affected by this change but still renders superb dignity. It is the peculiar form to improve the expression techniques and present superiority of the work by simplifying the composition.

Its colors are almost perfectly conserved even if there are traces of folding up with backside thinly weaved silks and some peeling off of paintings Amitabha with yeowonin(right hand with 5 fingers stretching out) is described as standing Buddha statue on Goaebul-hwa.

The color of round halo around the head of Buddha is dark green. And it reminds us of a scroll of Oriental painting due to its such pictorial expression as blossoming lotus flower on lotus pedestal representing Yeongsanhoaesang(Buddha¡¯s sitting seat for lecture), etc.

These are features of background paintings which are not found in Goaebul-hwa researched up to now.
Yeongcheon Eunhae-sa Baekheung-am Geukrak-jeon Sumi-dan altar
The Amita 3 Buddha statues are enshrined in the Eunhae-sa Baekheung-am Geukrak-jeon. And the Buddhist alter on which these statues are placed is made of wood and gets a lot of attention due to its excellent sculpturing technique and peculiar formation. The Sumi-dan on which the Amita 3 Buddha statues are placed, was made of wood during the middle of the Joseon Dynasty and its front is composed of 5 alters, each of which is again divided into 5 pieces. The upper most alter where eye-like images are etched is projected, and on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th alters are phoenix, peacock, crane, pheasant, etc. dragon, child, fish, frog, etc, elephant, lion, deer, etc are engraved. The Sumi-dan shows superb technique of wood sculpting of the Joseon Dynasty by distinctively bratticing a variety of animals

Yeongcheon Yonggye confucian shrine 01

Tangible Cultural Properties # 55, Yonggye-seowond, is situated in Yongsan-ri Jayang-myeon

Yeongcheon Yonggye confucian shrine

This Seowon, or Confucian shrine-academy, was established in 1782 by the order of King Jeongjo(1776-1800) as a memorial to Yi Maengjeon/Lee Maeng-Jeon.
The Yonggye-seonwon has a tower style paljak roofed house which was built in the Ikgonggye-construction style.

The roof of the building is half-gabled, half-hipped.The eaves of the roof are supported by wing-like brackets.

Yi was one of the six men known as Saengyuksin or "six loyal subjects" who gave up their government positions to protect King Danjong. Having pledged his loyalty to Danjong, Yi refused to serve two masters. As King Sejo dethroned King Danjong, he kept his promise not to serve two kings by resigning from his official position and retiring to his hometown. He lived the rest of his life as a recluse in his hometown. He passed away at the age of 89 after he got out of touch with outsiders living as a fake blind and deaf person for 27 years and thinking only of King Danjong

He was posthumously given the title Minister of PersoneI. In 1848, by order of a royal decree seeking the eventual abolishment of such institutes, the Seowon was moved back here in 1974 because of the construction of the Yeongcheon Dam.
Yeongjeong Incho gisa mobon jeong Mong-Ju

The 4 Incho gisa mobon jeong Mong-Ju Yeongjeong, in Yanghang-ri Imgo-myeon has been designated Treasure #1110.

The Seowon houses 3 pieces of Jeong Mong-ju's portrait which seem to look alike. But periods of drawing and detailed presentation of the portraits and drawers are different.

These portraits are imitations copied from an original portrait, all of which show Jeong Mong-Ju with Ohsamo(a hat worn by officials in former days), Cheongpodanryeong(dress worn by officials in former days) and Gakdae(a sash worn by officials in former days) without description of background. Sungjeonggisa-mobon(copy) are presumed to be the work of Kim Yuk.
It is understood to be copied in 1629 since the letters of Sungjeonggisa-mobon are written at the bottom right corner of the portrait. And it is believed to be the oldest portrait of Jeong Mong-Ju which are remaining now.

It pictures the whole body of Jeong Mong-Ju on a chair with Ohsamo and light-blue Danryeongpo (dress worn by officials in former days). And it expresses an image of the face with 80% of it left and the rest right and the expression of dress is done not by Chinese black ink lines but by blue colored lines.

In general, it is damaged severely but it is the oldest work of Jeong Mong-Ju which still remains and holds the status which can be found only in the old works.


Joyanggak in Changgu-dong, Tangible Cultural Properties # 144, was built by a government official Lee Yong in the 17th year of Gongmin-wang of Goguryo (1368). It was also called 'Myeongwonru'. which was extracted from the poem by Han Toi Ji of the Chinese Tang Dynasty which means "To see scenery of distant open place, two eyes gets more sharpened."

This anecdote is written on document of Myongwonru recorded by Saga(pen name) Seo Geo-Jeong, a well known writer of the Joseon Dynasty. There were Cheongryang-dang(house) to the left and Ssangcheong-dang(house) to the right with Joyanggak at the center, both of which were burnt down during the Imjin-woaeran(Japanese invasion of Korean in 1592)

The current building is the one which was rebuilt in the 16th year of King Injo of the Joseon Dynasty and renamed as Joyanggak. The current Joyanggak is composed of 5 compartments in front and 3 compartments at the sides. And about 80 hanging boards engraved with poems of noted saga and people of refined tastes who passed by this town.

Yeongcheon Sinnyeong-Hyanggyo Confucian school

It is unknown when this Sinnyeong-Hyanggyo, Tangible Cultural Property No. 168, in Hwaseong-ri Sinnyeong-myeon was built but it was known to have been repaired in 1551 when Hwang Joon-Ryang was the governor then.

At that time it was situated in Myeongcheon. It was burnt down during the Imjin-woaeran(Japanese invasion of Korean in 1592) and was rebuilt at the back of where it is now, and only moved to where it is now in 1686.

Myeongryun-dang was originally the lecture hall where teachings of Confucius were taught to students of Confucianism. It was relatively big and the construction structure was sound enough to add a roof.

Myeongryun-dang was rebuilt in 1852, at the same time, other buildings were being built.

Yeongcheon Imgo Seowon
The Imgo Seowon is a memorial hall which was built in memory of Poeun Jeong Mong-ju, a loyal subject at the end of Goguryo Dynasty who kept his honor with death in order to erect upright the fate of the country faced with crisis.

It was built by local residents of Yeongcheon, home of Jeong Mong-ju in the 8th year of Myeongjong (Joseon, 1553). And it became what it is after burning down and reconstruction. The Imgo-seowon houses Jeong Mong-ju's portrait (National treasure No. 1110), his books (National treasure No. 1109) and a 500 year old Gingko tree standing in front of the seowon.

And now for our last destination for the day, the Manbul-sa(temple), constructed in 1995, the center stage of contemporary Korean Buddhism.
And its size is immense enough to include 3-4 hills around it.

The Manbulbo-jeon which enshrines 3 Amita Buddhas and a 17,000 jade Buddha, is the main temple of Manbulsan.

The official name of the temple, Manbulsa, means The Temple of 10,000 Buddhas.

If you happen to be travelling along the Gyeongbu Expressway #1, as you approach Yeongcheon, you will be able to see on top of the mountain a golden statue of Buddha.

When you reach the gates of this temple you will be greeted by 3 three large golden pyramid-like structures, some seven to eight meters high. The next thing that strikes the eyes is that the dominating color of this temple is yellow, quite unlike the usual greys and dark greens of the traditional temples in Korea. What are those pyramid-like structures? On closer look you will discover that they are composed of thousands of small Buddha statues about 15 cm high, with Korean names engraved at the bottom of each statue and a tiny lamp above it. It seems that any person after paying some money to the monastery (approximately 5,000 won a month) receives this package of a small Buddha statue including the lantern, which is then installed in the pyramid. On the lower part of the statue the name of the owner or some other person can be written. And every day when it gets dark all the tiny lanterns are switched on, transforming the golden pyramids of the daytime into pyramids of light in the dark.

It is believed that the small Buddha statues and lanterns bring happiness and good fortune to the persons whose names are engraved at the bottom. Many people buy these statues in the pyramids of Manbulsa for the people they love, this is a unique way of giving presents to loved ones.

These same lanterns and Buddha statues with names can also be found on the walls of the main praying hall of the temple. The Manbulsa has been nicknamed “the temple of a million lanterns”, which is what it really looks like in the darkness.
There are also other Buddha statues about two meters high in the temple
 grounds where the principle is about the same. A person can sponsor a statue and have their name or that of another person engraved on the bottom. It is also believed to bring good fortune to the donors as well as the recipients. I think this temple can hold the record for having the most number of Buddha statues in the world.

You can also see rows of statues of so-called baby Buddhas, child-like looking Buddhas with hats on their heads. These statues with names on them are put there by grieving parents in memory of their children who died at birth.

In the middle of the main yard of the monastery there is a huge bell on the surface of which are engraved hundreds of small Buddhas. While only the monks of Manbulsa are allowed to strike this bell, there are also four smaller bells in the vicinity for visitors. Make a wish and strike one of those bells three times and it will come true.

Further on there are two rows of big golden cylinders, prayer wheels supposedly to improve one’s fortune. Walk along and turn one cylinder after another to the left reciting at the same time the mantra, “om mani padme hum,”  which is  supposed to have an enlightening effect.

There is a large reclining statue of Buddha made of brass, 4 meters high and 13 meters long which the monastery claims is the biggest Buddha statue in Korea.

It is also possible to reach the statue of the Buddha, the one seen from the Gyeonbu Expressway. You’re in for another surprise, that statue of the huge Buddha stands on a podium, surrounded by dozens of smaller Buddhas of human height. From here one can get a bird’s eye view of the surroundings. Guess what, it looks like the larger part of its grounds is designated for graves. But with the number of Buddhas around it shouldn’t be scary right?

So if you are up to visit an unusual and unique Korean temple where you can probably improve your fortune and perhaps buy a lantern which will shine for you every day, Manbulsa is the temple to visit. Of course it will be better to go when it’s getting dark when you can enjoy the wonderful view of thousands of tiny lanterns shining in the dark, but not too late though as the temple doors might be closed.

And this brings me to the end of our tour today. Hope you’ll be back again soon .