Gongju, Republic of Korea

General Information

Regional secretariat

Administrative status

City in the South Chungcheong province

Baekje Historic Areas

Registration Year

2015

Historical function

Technological, religious, cultural and artistic

Location and site

Located in the mountainous mid-western region of the Republic of Korea, this property comprises eight archaeological sites dating from 475 to 660 CE, including the Gongsanseong fortress and royal tombs at Songsan-ri related to the capital, Ungjin (present day Gongju), the Busosanseong Fortress and Gwanbuk-ri administrative buildings, the Jeongnimsa Temple, the royal tombs in Neungsan-ri and the Naseong city wall related to the capital, Sabi (now Buyeo), the royal palace at Wanggung-ri and the Mireuksa Temple in Iksan related to the secondary Sabi capital. Together, these sites represent the later period of the Baekje Kingdom – one of the three earliest kingdoms on the Korean peninsula (18 BCE to 660 CE) – during which time they were at the crossroads of considerable technological, religious (Buddhist), cultural and artistic exchanges between the ancient East Asian kingdoms in Korea, China and Japan.

Registration Criteria

Criterion (ii): The archaeological sites and architecture of the Baekje Historic Areas exhibit the interchange between the ancient East Asian kingdoms in Korea, China and Japan in the development of construction techniques and the spread of Buddhism.

Criterion (iii): The setting of the capital cities, Buddhist temples and tombs, architectural features and stone pagodas of the Baekje Historic Areas contribute in forming exceptional testimony to the unique culture, religion and artistry of the kingdom of Baekje.

Historical Reference

Located in the mountainous mid-western region of the Republic of Korea, the remains of three capital cities collectively represent the later period of the Baekje Kingdom as it reached its peak in terms of cultural development involving frequent communication with neighbouring regions. The Baekje lasted 700 years from 18 BCE to 660 CE and was one of the three earliest kingdoms on the Korean peninsula. The Baekje Historic Areas serial property comprises eight archaeological sites dating from 475-660 CE including the Gongsanseong fortress and royal tombs at Songsan-ri related to the Ungjin capital Gongju; the Archaeological Site in Gwanbuk-ri and Busosanseong Fortress, Jeongnimsa Temple Site, royal tombs in Neungsan-ri and Naseong city wall related to the Sabi capital Buyeo; the Archaeological Site in Wanggung-ri and the Mireuksa Temple Site in Iksan related to the secondary Sabi capital. Together these sites testify to the adoption by the Baekje of Chinese principles of city planning, construction technology, arts and religion; their refinement by the Baekje and subsequent distribution to Japan and East Asia.

Sansa, Buddhist Mountain Monasteries in Korea

Registration Year

2018

Historical function

Religious and spiritual

Location and site

The Sansa are Buddhist mountain monasteries located throughout the southern provinces of the Korean Peninsula. The spatial arrangement of the seven temples that comprise the property, established from the 7th to 9th centuries, present common characteristics that are specific to Korea – the ‘madang’ (open courtyard) flanked by four buildings (Buddha Hall, pavilion, lecture hall and dormitory). They contain a large number of individually remarkable structures, objects, documents and shrines. These mountain monasteries are sacred places, which have survived as living centres of faith and daily religious practice to the present.

The city of Gongju has on its territory the Magoksa Temple.

Registration Criteria

Criterion (iii): Buddhism has a long history that has traversed a number of historical eras in the Korean Peninsula. The seven mountain monasteries – Tongdosa, Buseoksa, Bongjeongsa, Beopjusa, Magoksa, Seonamsa and Daeheungsa – offer a distinctively Korean instantiation of Buddhist monastic culture from the 7th century to the present day. These mountain monasteries are sacred places and provide an exceptional testimony to their long and continuing traditions of Buddhist spiritual practice.

Historical Reference

Sansa consists of seven Buddhist mountain monasteries—Tongdosa, Buseoksa, Bongjeongsa, Beopjusa, Magoksa, Seonamsa and Daeheungsa—located throughout the southern provinces of the Korean Peninsula. The seven monasteries established from the 7th to the 9th centuries have functioned as centres of religious belief, spiritual practice, and daily living of monastic communities, reflecting the historical development of Korean Buddhism. Sansa has accommodated diverse Buddhist schools and popular beliefs within its precinct, and many of its notable historic structures, halls, objects and documents reflect such assimilating features of Korean Buddhism. The distinctive intangible and historical aspects of Korean Buddhism can be recognized in the continuous traditions of self-sufficient temple management, education of monks, and coexistence of meditative practice and doctrinal studies of Korean Seon Buddhism. These mountain monasteries are sacred places, which have survived to the present as living centres of faith and religious practices despite suppression during the Joseon Dynasty and damages caused by wars and conflicts over the years.

Contact

Mr. JeongSeup Kim

Mayor
Municipal government of Gongju

1 Bonghwangro
Gongju, Republic of Korea
32552

Ms. SuJeong Lee

City Official
Municipal government of Gongju

82-41-840-8693
lsj0507@korea.kr