Gyeongsangbuk-do(Gyeongju-si)

This was the location of the palace fortress during the Shilla Dynasty (57 BC ~ AD 935). The fortress takes after its name, which, literally translated, means 'a crescent moon shape on top of a hill'. The famous history books of Samgukyusa mention that Shilla’s 4th King Seoktalhae (AD 57~80) thought this area was an ideal spot for the fortress and bought the land from a nobleman. The 2nd King Namhae (AD 4~24) impressed by Seoktalhae’s actions, took him in as his son-in-law, later, becoming the 4th king. The area was then under Shilla’s rule for 900 years, the last king being the 56th, Gyeongsoon (AD 927~935).Although the magnificent grandeur of the palace is now just an empty lot, it has been told that this area was filled with imperial buildings during the Shilla Dynasty. Currently, the region of Wolseong has a freezer made out of rocks called Seokbinggo, an archery range, horse-riding field, and a traditional playground, which resembles the grounds of the Joseon Period (the dynasty that ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392-1910). 


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Gyeongju-si)

The site of Hwangnyongsa Temple is located in front of the Bunhwangsa Temple in Guhang-dong, Gyeongju. During the Silla Era, the Hwangnyongsa Temple was the nation’s largest temple and housed the bulk of the country’s major Buddhist treasures.Construction of the temple began in 553 on a field near the royal compound of Banwolseong under the commission of King Jinheung. The king originally planned to build a palace, but decided to build a temple instead, after receiving reports that a yellow dragon had been spotted on the building site. The temple was thus named Hwangnyongsa (Temple of Yellow Dragon) and was completed in 569, seventeen years after construction began. The temple murals feature an old pine tree drawn by Artist Solgeo. During the Silla Era, the temple was the center of state-sanctioned Buddhism.Later, when monk Jajang was studying in Tang, he came across a god as he was passing by the Taihe Pond. The god said to him, “the yellow dragon, which is my eldest son, is guarding Hwangnyongsa Temple upon orders of Brahma, the Creator. If you build a nine-story pagoda upon your return to Silla, the neighboring states will surrender and pay tribute, and the royal cause will be stronger. Once the construction of the pagoda is complete, prepare a memorial service for the local gods and pardon any of the country's criminals. If you follow all I have told you, no other state will dare invade Silla.”After this encounter, Jajang returned to Silla and convinced Queen Seondeok to build the nine-story pagoda. Master architect Abiji of the neighboring state Baekje designed the pagoda and the project was built by Yongchun and his 200 men using wood and stone. The night before the columns were to be erected, Architect Abiji of Baekje dreamed of the fall of Baekje and refused to complete the project. With a peal of thunder, an old monk and a man of great strength suddenly appeared from the temple's main hall, erected the columns, and magically disappeared. Abiji was so shocked at the sight that he accepted his country’s future demise as the fate of the gods and once again restarted work on the temple. (From Samgungnyusa, the Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms)In the twenty-three years following the completion of the pagoda, Queen Seondeok unified the Three Kingdoms; later, numerous scholars pointed to the pagoda as a contributing factor in the unification. Of the three treasures of Silla (the Jangyukjonsang statue, the nine-story pagoda of Hwangnyongsa Temple, and the Heavenly Belt of King Jinpyeong) two were located at the Hwangnyongsa Temple. The largest bell of Silla was also in Hwangnyongsa, but was taken away during the Mongol invasion. The highest monks of Silla preached at the temple, and many kings came to listen to the Buddhist teachings.During excavation work in July 1969, the massive foundation stones of the sermon hall, auditorium, and pagoda were found. Eight years of archaeological excavations and studies revealed the unique layout of the temple grounds, which consisted of one pagoda and three halls; also found were 40,000 or so ancient artifacts. Though foundation stones and other structures from the bottom of the temple were identified through excavation, there are no historical clues about the temple’s upper design, making the restoration of the temple in its entirety practically impossible. The size of the temple, based on archeological findings, was about 70 acres, roughly 8 times that of the Bulguksa Temple. 


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Gyeongju-si)

Silla Culture Experience Center was established to offer various cultural programs featuring Gyeongju in the basement level between Daereungwon Tomb Complex and Cheomseongdae Observatory. Cultural programs include making chocolates in the shape of Gyeongju's cultural assets, making a golden crown, kite-making, Korean music performance, and more.


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Gyeongju-si)

On the tourist trail near the foot of Tohamsan Mountain between Bulguksa Temple and Bomun Lake Resort are as many as 45 traditional tile-roofed and thatched houses. The folk craft village, which stands on a lot measuring 66,116m² (20,000 pyeong), is home to craftsmen and artisans who have successfully preserved the spirit and craftsmanship of their ancestors. Visitors may receive a free tour of 18 different galleries and workshops including metal, ceramics, wood crafts, jewelry, stone crafts, embroidery and earthware crafts. Artwork and crafts created by local artists are for sale at reasonable prices.


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Gyeongju-si)

Gyeongju East Palace Garden re-creates Korea's first zoo and botanical garden in the image of a modern Donggung Palace and Woliji Pond. The garden is comprised of botanical garden, agricultural experience facility and Bird Park. In particular, the greenhouses in the botanical garden are built with the design of traditional building from the Silla period but are made entirely of glass, providing this garden with a unique atmosphere.


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Gyeongju-si)

Located in downtown Gyeongju, Toobbul Korean BBQ serves only the best quality hanu (Korean beef). Hanu is regarded as a delicacy because of its expensive price and premium quality. Toobbul offers a lunch hour special where diners can get the same quality of hanu at 35% cheaper than the regular price. The restaurant has a clean and contemporary interior, and a space big enough to accommodate groups of diners. Patrons include families and the crowd from nearby offices.  


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Gyeongju-si)

The Oreung Tombs (“oreung” meaning “five royal tombs”) have been officially designated Historic Site No. 172 and are the final resting places of four kings of the Park clan—King Park Hyeokgeose (founder of the Silla Kingdom), King Namhae, King Yuri, and King Jabi—and one queen (Queen Aryeong, wife of King Park Hyeokgeose). To the east of the royal tombs lies Sungdeokjeon Shrine, which holds the ancestral tablet of King Park Hyeokgeose. Behind the shrine is the Aryeongjeong Well, said to be the birthplace of Queen Aryeong.


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Gyeongju-si)

The Royal Tomb of Queen Seondeok (선덕여왕릉), located in Bomun-dong, is a round-shaped tomb with earthen layers, 73 meters in circumference. Aside from the fact that it was constructed using natural stones in double layers, the tomb has no other unique features. As the oldest daughter of King Jinpyeong, Queen Seondeok became the first queen of the Silla Kingdom. During the 16th year of her reign, Bunhwangsa Temple (분황사) and Cheomseongdae Observatory (첨성대) were built. She also ordered the construction of the famous nine-story pagoda of Hwangyongsa Temple, an achievement of Buddhist architecture. While many of her efforts laid the foundation for the unification of Three Kingdoms of Korea, Queen Seondeok’s reign was plagued by rebellion and strife and she died in 647 during a rebellion, 23 years before unification was realized.


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Andong-si)

The Imcheonggak Pavilion was built as a home during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1919) because of one aristocratic family’s love for the scenic beauty of the surrounding area. The most famous structure on this property is the annexed pavilion. Imcheonggak is designated Treasure No.182. Thankfully this structure was untouched during the Japanese invasion taking place from 1592-1598. An autograph of the famous Confucius scholar, Lee Hwang (1501-1570), can be found hanging outside the pavilion.


Gyeongsangbuk-do(Andong-si)

On the other side of the subsidiary dam of Andong Dam, thatched houses will be sparsely seen on the hilltop. The area is the folk scene site where an outdoor museum is built. At the entrance of the outdoor museum two jangseungs (Korean traditional totem poles) are set, followed by a monument inscribed with the poem of famous Andong poet and democracy activist, Lee Yuk-sa. On the monument, his noted works “Gwangya” (Wild Plain) is carved. Near the Dam, are the Andong Folk Village, Andong Museum, Lee Yuk-sa Monument, a filming site of “Taejo Wanggeon,” and Andongho Lake.