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Korea tourist destination

Korea tourist destination #9 Tapgol Park , Wongaksa Pagoda

by dokkaebi 2021. 4. 2.

  Tapgol Park  and Wongaksa Pagoda 

Tapgol Park, located in Jongno-gu, Seoul, is a place where the Declaration of Independence was read and hurrayed for independence during the March 1st Movement in 1919, and is designated as historic site No. 354. Heungboksa Temple was built in the Goryeo Dynasty and Wongaksa Temple was built in the Joseon Dynasty. During the Joseon Dynasty, during Yeonsan-gun and Jungjong, the temple was abolished and turned into ruins. Then, in 1897, the first year of the Korean Empire, the first Western-style modern park in Korea was built on the recommendation of John Brown, an English man who was an advisor to the Takji Department at the time. It was named Pagoda Park after the Pagoda of Wongaksa Temple. Afterwards, it was renamed Tapgol Park again in 1992, following its former location.


The Palgakjeong Pavilion, where citizens and students gathered and shouted hurrah during the March 1st Movement, and read the Declaration of Independence, remains. The ten-story stone pagoda of Wongaksaji Temple in the park is delicately sculpted in the shape of a tiled house with beautiful layers, including pillars, railings, dreads, and roof tiles. Buddha and Bodhisattva statues, clouds, dragons, lions, peonies, and lotus flowers are beautifully engraved, showing excellent sculpting skills that cannot be found in the Joseon Dynasty stone pagoda.



You can see the Wongaksa monument recorded on the foundation of Wongaksa Temple, the sundial and the 3·1 Movement Monument, the relief recorded the March 1 Movement, the statue of Uiam Son Byung-hee and the monument to Han Yong-un. As it is located in the city center, it is a good resting place for citizens. Pigeons gathered a lot, and old people liked it, and it was once called “pigeon park” and “old man park” and was neglected by young people. With the spread of recognition as a living park with various cultural properties, it is recognized as an outing course linking nearby Cheonggyecheon and Insa-dong.


  Wongaksa Temple 10-story stone pagoda and Wongaksa monument  

Wongaksa Temple 10-story stone pagoda

It is not clear because there is no accurate record, but it was established in 1895 or the following year, and it is known to have been made at the suggestion of the British at the time. Before the park became a park, it was a vacant lot with towers and obesity, and if you go back to it, Wongaksa Temple, which was counted as one of the three major temples in the city during the Joseon Dynasty, was here.


Wongaksa Temple was built on the site of the disappearance of a temple called Heungboksa that had existed since Goryeo Dynasty in the 10th year of King Sejo(1464). The scale of Wongaksa Temple at the time of its establishment was also large, and the Daejong was cast from 50,000 geun of copper collected from all over the country and completed in the 11th year of King Sejo. It is said that the ten-storied stone pagoda, which was completed in the 14th year of King Sejo(1468) after sealing Jinsinsa-ri, which was shared from the stupa of Hoeamsa temple, was famous. However, Wongaksa's prosperity did not last long.


The temple's fate was declining due to the strengthened anti-Buddhism policy from Seongjongdae, and finally died in the 10th year of Yeonsan-gun (1504). The following year, Yeonsan-gun moved jang-ag-won to this place, and even changed its name to Federal Won, and managed Gisaeng and musicians picked up from all over the country. The temple was turned into the Gisaeng room for the king's play. After the expulsion of Yeonsan-gun, it was used as part of the Hanseongbu government office for about three years, and in the 9th year of King Joongjong (1514), the timbers of the building were used for repair of various public buildings, leaving only the pagoda and the Wongaksa monument in its place.


On the other hand, Dongjong of Wongaksa, which had been neglected at the temple site until the 31st year of King Joongjong (1536), was then relocated to Sungnyemun Gate and Myeongrye-dong Pass, and was enshrined in the current Bosingak and Jonggak of that time in the 11th year of Gwanghae-gun (1619). From that time until 1985, the bell, who had been working through various winds, is now moved to the backyard of the Gyeongbokgung Institute for Cultural Heritage and is taking a long break. Therefore, the Bosingak paper we know is the same kind of Wongaksa Temple.


The ten-story stone pagoda at Wongaksa Temple is a unique pagoda that cannot be found in the history of Korean stone pagodas. However, the number of floors, shape, size, material, and detailed sculpture are very similar to the ten-story stone pagoda at the Gyeongcheonsa Temple site built in 1348. First of all, it is remarkable that gray marble is used for all parts, not granite, which is commonly used as a material. The composition consists of a base end, a tower bride, and an upper wheel, like any other stone pagoda, but the upper wheel has already disappeared a long time ago. In fact, not only the upper wheel, but also the three floors from above were restored to their present form in 1946 by the US Army Corps of Engineers after hundreds of years after being dropped to the ground.


The base is not a double base that is commonly seen in a three-story stone pagoda, but a triple base, and each stage has the same width and height, so it is very different from the ordinary stone pagoda. The plane also has a unique shape in which a small square is superimposed in the middle of a large cross. All kinds of animals and plants and figures of figures were completely and brilliantly carved on the face stone of each stage, and the lotus seat was turned up and down on the stone of the stone, and rinceau was embroidered without exception. It is noticeable that the upper part of the upper base of the uppermost floor is separated from the base of the lower two floors by rotating a railing pattern to receive the tower body.


The pagoda can be divided into two parts. The first to third floors are in the same shape as the base, and from the 4th to the 10th floors are square, which is the same as that of a normal stone pagoda. Up to the third floor, the width of the body stone and the roof stone is felt at a certain rate, and then the width of the body stone and the roof stone decreases sharply on the fourth floor, and then it shows a flat feeling again. Each floor is composed of a chock, a body stone, and a roof stone to support the body stone. The railing pattern is rotated around the chokdae, which is much wider than the body stone, and a pattern that mimics the fear of wooden architecture is clearly embossed in the margin of the underside of the chokdae. On the body stone, the scenes of the Buddha preaching with several Bodhisattvas and disciples on each of its widest sides are delicately and colorfully carved, and the Buddha, Bodhisattva, Heavenly Deity, Xinjiang, and Bicheon are elaborately carved. Round pillars were carved at each corner where the sides were bent.


The roof stone almost imitates the roof of a wooden architecture, so it is very realistic to express the tiled valleys, floors, angle rafters, and even small members. At the same time, in pursuit of change, the roof stone on the first floor was made to come to the lower floor, the roof stone on the second floor was made to come in front of all directions. From the 4th floor, the shape of the quadruped roof was repeated, and the roof stone on the last 10th floor was finished again in the shape of a parched roof as if marking a period.


The ten-story stone pagoda at Wongaksa Temple is remarkable not only in the clever design and the composition of colorful and colorful patterns that can be seen on the base and the top of the tower, but also the technique and workmanship that support it, and the colorful sculptures match the color and texture of the grayish white marble, making it even more beautiful. The overall impression may look rather thin and long, but the three-stage podium and the changing towers up to the third floor completely offset that feeling. It is probably one of the best stone pagoda works in the Joseon Dynasty as well as in Korea. However, nowadays, the glass protection angle covers the entire stone pagoda, so unfortunately, it is not possible to assess the tower's full picture or take a closer look at the details. It is the second national treasure and is currently 12m high.


Wongaksa monument 

The Wongak-sabi is a monument inscribed with the history of Wongaksa Temple and was erected in the 2nd year of Seongjong (1471). The body stone and roof stone made of marble are made of single stone, and the turtle support is made of granite. The turtle back is very large and thick, and the turtle's neck is thicker and shorter than its head, and its nose is bluntly cut like a pig's nose, so it looks very dull. The feet are the size of the body and are laid out without force. The patella pattern engraved on the back is not a general hexagon, but a trapezoidal shape that overlaps several parallel thin lines, and the bija is shaped like a large lotus leaf upside down, and the ends of the leaves are folded on all sides.


1.3m wide and 0.38m thick, the text was written by Kim Soo-on and Seongim written on the front, and on the back there was a text written by Seo Geojeong and Jeong Nan-jong. The content of the inscription is hardly recognizable due to the severe weathering. 3) Only the entire amount of'大圓覺 / 寺之碑' is clearly engraved in two vertical lines under the roof stone at the top of the body stone. This writing was written by Kang Hee-Meng. The roof stone engraved the figure of two dragons entangled and fighting against the summit of Yeouiju, but the sculpting skill is powerful and elaborate. Wongak-sabi, with a total height of 4.9m, is the third treasure.