Gyeongju Historic Areas
Cultural and artistic
Location and site
Gyeongju is a coastal city in the far southeastern corner of North Gyeongsang Province in South Korea. Gyeongju was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla (57 BC – 935 AD) which ruled about two-thirds of the Korean Peninsula between the 7th and 9th centuries.
The Gyeongju Historic Areas contain a remarkable concentration of outstanding examples of Korean Buddhist art, in the form of sculptures, reliefs, pagodas, and the remains of temples and palaces from the flowering, in particular between the 7th and 10th centuries, of this form of unique artistic expression.
The property comprises five distinct areas situated in the centre of Gyeongju and in its suburbs.
The Mount Namsan Belt lies to the north of the city and covers 2,650 ha. The Buddhist monuments that have been excavated at the time of inscription include the ruins of 122 temples, 53 stone statues, 64 pagodas and 16 stone lanterns.
The Wolseong Belt includes the ruined palace site of Wolseong, the Gyerim woodland which legend identifies as the birthplace of the founder of the Gyeongju Kim clan, Anapji Pond, on the site of the ruined Imhaejeon Palace, and the Cheomseongdae Observatory.
The Tumuli Park Belt consists of three groups of Royal Tombs.
Hwangnyongsa Belt consists of two Buddhist temples, Bunhwangsa Temple and the ruins of Hwangnyongsa Temple.
The Sanseong Fortress Belt consists of defensive facilities along the east coast and at other strategic points and includes the Myeonghwal Mountain Fortress.
Criterion (ii): The Gyeongju Historic Areas contain a numberof sites and monuments of exceptional significance in the development of Buddhist and secular architecture in Korea.
Criterion (iii): The Korean peninsula was ruled for nearly a thousand years by the Silla dynasty, and the sites and monuments in and around Gyeongju (including the holy mountain of Namsan) bear outstanding testimony to its cultural achievements.
The Korean peninsula was ruled for almost 1,000 years (57 BCE – 935 CE) by the Silla dynasty, and the sites and monuments in and around Gyeongju bear outstanding testimony to its cultural achievements. These monuments are of exceptional significance in the development of Buddhist and secular architecture in Korea.