Relics Show Korea’s Medieval Stone Sculpting

The Korean ancestors, who made Koryo celadon well-known to the world, fully displayed their wisdom and skills in the field of stone sculpture as well.

It is well evidenced by the historical sites and relics preserved in their original state in the area of Kaesong, the capital of Koryo Kingdom (918-1392).

The decorative sculptures at the Mausoleum of King Kyonghyo at the foot of Mt Pongmyong in Haeson-ri of Kaesong City, are the epitome of the medieval stone sculpture.

Among them are symbolic animals embossed in twelve-fold stone screen, stone handrail, stone stairs, stone post, stone altar, stone lantern and stone sheep and stone tigers around the mausoleum. In particular, two granite-stone figures depicting a military officer and a civil official are estimated as the best of the old stone sculptures so far unearthed in the country.

At the Ryongthong Temple in Ryonghung-dong of the city, there is also a monument called Taegakguksabi, which is propped by a stone turtle. Engraved on the front and back sides of the monument are phoenix and flower patterns, which are claimed to be the most beautiful of those carved on all monuments of the times.

The Hyonhwa Temple’s seven-storey pagoda at the Koryo Museum is big in size and grand in shape and a lot of Buddhist images carved in each storey of the pagoda are exquisite and lifelike.

Besides, there are a dragon head sculpture at Manwoltae royal palace site, a stone lantern at the Kaeguk Temple, a five-storey pagoda at the Puril Temple, a pagoda at the Hungguk Temple and other relics showing excellent stone sculpture of the Korean nation.

Categories: Architecture, Culture

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