Mireuksa Temple And Pagoda In South Korea

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Mireuksa was the largest temple in the ancient Korean kingdom of Baekje.
It was established by the 30th ruler of the Baekje Kingdom, Tour Chùa Hương King Mu in 602. In 1980, its site was excavated in Iksan City in South Korea. The stone pagoda at Mireuksa is the largest pagoda in Korea. It is also one of two extant Paekche pagodas as well as being among the oldest pagodas in that country.

According to Samgungnyusa (Memorabilia of the Three Dynasty), King Mu and his queen saw Maitreya Buddha appearing at the pond down the Mt. Yonghwasan during their way to the Sajasa Temple. Soon after that, on the request of the queen, the king let the pond reclaimed and halls for the Buddha’s image, pagodas and ambulatory built.
The nine-story wooden pagoda was established and stood in the center of the complex. The pagoda is also said to have been the work of Paekche master craftman Abiji.

The temple has two stone pagodas, namely Seotop (west pagoda), Dongtap (east pagoda), one wooden pagoda between them and halls for Buddha’s image behind these pagodas.

The arrangement to the buildings is unique with the ambulatory dividing the buildings. All halls which contain the Buddha’s image have 5 rooms and 4 side rooms.

Before the time of the Joseon Dynasty, Tour Chùa Hương the stone pagoda and the wood pagoda on the eastern side collapsed.
The top three levels of the nine-storey pagoda have also collapsed. Not long after that, the restoration project began to proceed slowly but systematically. In January 2009[ ], a gold plate was evacuated in the west pagoda.