On Wednesday, April 28th, Clotilde from France and TJ from Vietnam set off to explore Gyeongju(Formerly Seorabol), the ancient capital of Silla, with its thousand year history of the Silla Dynasty! The first place they visited was Bulguksa Temple, decorated with colorful lotus lanterns in preparation of Buddha’s birthday in May. Bulguksa Temple has always been a popular destination for school trips but due to the pandemic, there are not many tourists at the moment.
Bulguksa Temple, considered a masterpiece of the golden age of Buddhist art in the Silla kingdom, was constructed under the chief minister, Kim Dae Seong, for the purpose of Buddhist worship and to pacify the spirit of his parents. Bulguksa, which means ‘land of the Buddha’, contains many historical treasures. Past the entrance of the temple, they cross the Baegungyo(White Cloud Bridge) and Cheongungyo(Blue Cloud Bridge), said to connect the world of common people with the world of Buddha, and are met with the Dabotap. Clotilde thinks that she has seen it from somewhere, and takes out a ten-won coin to compare the picture on the coin with the pagoda.
Clotilde and TJ find a shiny golden pig statue in front of the Geukrakjeon Hall, which is supposed to bring them hope, luck and happiness. They gently stroke the pig and make a wish. When they do, a magic hand appears out of nowhere to give them a mission for the Gyeongju Treasure Hunt! Clotilde and TJ look determined as they set off to learn more about the treasures of Silla and collect the Silla cookies.
They carry out the mission in Cheonmachong, situated at the Daereungwon Tomb complex, which is the location of 23 royal tombs. At the time of excavation, many relics were found inside the tomb such as a golden crown and the Cheonmado, a painting of a Heavenly Horse. Currently, the building operates as an exhibition hall where visitors can appreciate the interior of the mausoleum, Here, Clotilde and TJ solve a quiz on the secret of the tomb and how so many relics could be preserved until this day, successfully obtaining the Cheonmachong cookie.
On the way to the Gyeongju National Museum, you may recognize Cheomseongdae, an astronomical observatory constructed during the Silla dynasty and a national treasure. The Cheomseongdae was built in the 7th century and is the oldest observatory in Asia. There is special meaning behind the number of stones that make up the Cheomseongdae. It is said that 365 or 366 stones were used to represent how many days there are in a year.
The last destination that Clotilde and TJ visited was the Gyeongju National museum, home to a collection of more than 225,000 historical items. Clotilde and TJ first head outdoors to see the Divine Bell of King Seongdeok. A bell commissioned to honor King Seongdeok, there is a creepy legend behind why the bell is also known as the Emile Bell. Don’t you want to know more about its story?
If you are interested in more entertaining stories of UNESCO heritages and treasures in Gyeongju, make sure to check out our Youtube channel~! We’ll be back soon with more exciting and interesting content. Goodbye until then!