Photo Essay: Gyeongju, South Korea

Wolseong Park, Geyongju, South Korea
The entrance path into Wolseong Park.

Gyeongju, in Gyeongsangbuk Province, is known as “the museum without walls”. For over a 1000 years it was the capital of the Shilla Dynasty. It holds the most historical buildings and artifacts in all of Korea, thereby being the most historically important area in Korea. Gyeongju’s population itself is not very large, at only about 275,000, but it’s the sites to see that make this a must stop when traveling through Korea. Most of the places to visit are located in and around the city centre, so renting bicycles for the day will make traveling to each location easier and faster. But it’s also a nice and enjoyable way to see a lot of the sites in a shorter amount of time. Enjoy the photos below of some of the things to see and do in Gyeongju.



Gyeongju, South Korea
Bunhwangsa Pagoda. From around the 7th century, this is the oldest datable pagoda in Korea. Pagodas are usually made of wood, but in this rare example it is made out brick. It was originally 9 stories high but only 3 remain today.


Geyongju, South Korea
Giving offerings to Buddha.
What to see in Gyeongju, South Korea.
Anapji Pond. The buildings were originally built in 674 but were all burned down in 935.
Anapji Pond, South Korea
When the buildings were burned down at Anapji Pond, many relics were thrown into the pond, only to be discovered when the pond was drained for cleaning in 1975.
Tombs in South Korea.
Throughout Wolseong Park are these “bumps” in the earth. These grass-covered bumps are actually tombs called Tumuli.
What to see in Gyeongju, South Korea.
Within Wolseong Park is the oldest astrological observatory in the Far East. Called Cheomseongdae, it was built between 632 and 646. It’s construction is unique with 12 stones at the base representing the months of the year, 30 layers representing the days of the month, and a total of 366 stones representing the days of the year.
Gyeongju, South Korea
The best way to get around Gyeongju is to bike.
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
An inner building of Bulguksa Temple. On the UNESCO World Heritage list, the temple complex is considered the greatest achievement of the Shilla Dynasty.
Bulguksa Temple, South Korea
A guardsman at Bulguksa Temple.
Bulguksa Temple, Gyeongju
Dabotap Pagoda, one of two pagodas in Bulguksa Temple.
Bulguksa Temple, South Korea
An intricate dragon door knocker at Bulguksa Temple
Bulguksa Temple
Small stacked stones built by temple visitors.
Seoguram Grotto, Gyeongju South Korea
About a 20 minute bus ride from Bulguksa Temple is Seokguram Grotto. Once you arrive, there is about a 10 minute hike to the grotto which houses a large granite Buddha who over looks the East Sea. Unfortunately the weather turned bad, the Buddha could only be viewed from behind a large plexiglass wall, and photos were prohibited.
Red bean paste bread from Gyeongju, South Korea
And after all that site-seeing you should treat yourself to Hwangnam Ppang, a small bite-sized bread filled with red bean paste originating from the Gyeongju area.



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