Ten-story Pagoda from
A stupa is a mound-like structure containing Buddhist relics. As Buddhism spread to other countries, the stupa evolved into the pagoda. Pagodas were made from different materials, including brick, stone, and wood. Chinese pagodas were built mostly of brick, while Japanese pagodas were mostly built of wood. Korean pagodas were mostly built of stone. Korean pagodas began to be built in earnest from the 7th century, and showed distinct features according to regional characteristics and the trend of the times.
The Ten-Story Pagoda of
The foundation and stories are filled with splendid carvings depicting subjects such as Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and flowers. Each remaining story has railings, a hip-and-gabled roof, eaves, and carvings made to suggest that each roof is tiled like a wooden structure. An inscription on the first story of the pagoda states that it was erected in the fourth year of the reign of King Chungmok, which was 1348.
The pagoda's shape was distinctive even in the Goryeo era, when new styles of pagodas were being erected. In addition, the pagoda is made from marble. The preferred material of Korean sculptors was generally granite. The pagoda is attractive due to its balanced structure and detailed carvings, and is valuable because it preserves the structure of Goryeo-era wooden buildings. In this sense, it is a good example of the Korean architectural style of the day. This architectural style had an influence on the Ten-Story Pagoda of Wongaksa Temple (No.2 National Treasure of Korea) erected in the Joseon era.
This pagoda was first erected at Gaepung-gun,
Today, the pagoda stands in the Path to History at the National Museum of Korea, which was relocated to Yongsan in 2005.
Location: Path to History, 1st Floor
Period/Date: Goryeo, 1348
Accession no. Bongwan 6753
National Treasure no. 86
*This article is extracted from the NMK Magazine Vol.00 & “20 masterpieces of the NMK.”