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National Treasure 50

Haetalmun Gate of Dogapsa Temple, Yeongam
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Classification National Treasure 50
Name of Cultural Properties Haetalmun Gate of Dogapsa Temple, Yeongam
Quantity 1 Building
Designated Date 1962.12.20
Age King Seongjong of Joseon Period
Address Dogapsa Temple, 306, Dogapsa-ro, Gunseo-myeon, Yeongam-gun, Jeollanam-do

The historic Buddhist temple Dogapsa located in Wolchulsan Mountain is known to have been established by an eminent Silla monk, State Preceptor Doseon (827-898), prospering during the late Goryeo Period (918-1392).

On the temple site, there had been a temple called Munsusa where Doseon had spent his childhood; the new temple, Dogapsa, was built to replace the older one after the monk returned home from Tang (618-907) where his studied Buddhism.

The temple underwent major renovation in 1473 under the supervision of two monks, Sumi and Sinmi, but lost most of its buildings by fire during the Korean War (1950-53).

These buildings were then rebuilt. Standing at the entrance to the temple, Haetalmun, or Gate of Liberation, is an architectural work with three bays on the front and back and two bays on the sides.

The right and left bays enshrine the statues of Diamond Guardians, with the central bay providing the main entrance to the temple.

Under the front eaves is a name plaque carrying the inscription “Dogapsa Temple of Wolchulsan Mountain,” and under the rear eaves is the other name plaque inscribed with “Haetalmun Gate.” As a rare example of the traditional temple gate buildings developed in Korea, it is often compared with Hoejeonmun Gate (Treasure No. 164) of Cheongpyeongsa Temple in Chuncheon.