Thursday, March 7, 2013

Old Postcard Picts : Kyeongju

Bulguksa Temple, 1914
Built in the 23rd year of King Bobheung of Shilla Kingdom
Bulguksa was badly damaged during the Japanese colonial period (pictured)
Bulguksa Temple in modern times ... one of the favorite angles to take the picture. In the 1980s and 1990s Bulguksa was the honeymoon place of preference. In the late 1990s Bulguksa as a drawing card for honeymooners was displaced in number one preference for honeymoons by Cheju Island.
Central shrine of Bulguksa Temple, 1909
Stone stupa of Bunhwangsa Temple, 1915
Picture taken during the Japanese colonial period. Grass, shrubs and some trees were growing
out of the temple roof and contributing to its fast decay.
The present-day appearance after extensive restoration of Bunhwangsa, now spelled with a 'p', Punhwangsa.
Stone Buddha in the Valley of the Three Mausoleums, date unknown
The King Seongdeok Divine Bell, 1915
Pictured is the relocation scene of the bell from Bonghwangdae to Gueongju Conservation Center for Historic Landmarks.
A modern-day picture of the massive bell hung in a reinforced structure.
Seokkoram, 1913
Seokkoram is an artificially built stone cave shrine for Buddha, built in an ancient period with water flowing around it. During colonial period, the cave was renovated but in the renovations, the natural flowing water, an engineering feat that is still not understood, was plugged and the cave became to humid and began to grow mold. Cement plaster was applied to the walls to stop the mold, which only increased it. At some point in the various renovation since, Seokkoram was enclosed in a glass structure and is only opened once a year.
Buddha with his far-reaching face directed toward the rising sun sits now enclosed,
with sunlight no longer hitting his inner eye.
Arial shot of Kyeongju City, 1958
Notice that some of the tombs are shrouded in shrubs/trees, something rather surprising as in the Confucian society there are tomb-cleaning days every year, and on those days, the grass must be pulled (no clippers then) and once the grave site is clean, then ceremonial respects are given to the great personages/ancestors, who watch over the living.
Hwangnam-dong Mausoleum, date unknown
The Heavenly Horse Tomb
Cheomseongdae, 1920
The oldest astronomical observatory remaining in Asia.
Cheomseongdae, after extensive restoration
Notice the square platform symbolic of earth and the round tower symbolic of the heaven. This same kind of square-round structure is apparent in the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China, as well as many other sites in Asia.
Kyeongju Kisaeng (like the Japanese geisha), 1914
In front of Onkogak of the Gyeongju Conservation Center for Historic Landmarks
Poseokjeong, 1910
One of the most beautiful royal villas built in the Shilla Kingdom.
This place is the story location of the fall of the Shilla Kingdom. 
Poseokjeong, where the yangban enjoyed relaxation in the garden and played drinking games
in the water that carried their liquor.
Gyeongju citizens, 1968
Pictured is a crowd watching a masquerade held in the October Shilla Festival in Kyeongju.
Gyeongju station, date unknown
Kamunsa Temple site, 1950
Great historical site. Unfortunately only one stone stupa remains.

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