Geumsansa Temple seated in Moaksan Mountain was established in 600 when Baekje was under the rule of King Beop and reestablished in 766 by renowned Silla monk Master Jinpyo (fl.
The temple’s Mireukjeon Hall was burnt down amid the turbulence caused by the second invasion of Korea (then Joseon) by the Japanese in 1597, rebuilt in 1635, and subjected to several repair works since then until it achieved its present appearance.
This hall, which enshrines a large statue of Maitreya Buddha, has many different names such as Yonghwajeon (“Hall of Dragon Flowers”), Sanhojeon (“Hall of Ten Thousand Years”), and Jangnyukjeon (“Hall of Sixteen-Foot Tall Buddha”); its name plaques are hung under the front eaves of each story: Daejabojeon (“Hall of Great Mercy and Treasure”) for the first, Yonghwajihoe (“Assembly of Dragon Flower”) for the second, and Mireukjeon (“Hall of Maitreya”).
The first and second stories of the building feature a structure of five kan (a unit of measurement referring to the distance between two columns) on the front and four kan on the sides; on the third story, one of the three kan is on the front, with the two kan on the sides.
The entire structure is covered by a gabled-and-hipped roof supported by decorative brackets put not just on top of the columns but also between every two columns.
The four corners of each roof are supported by slender additional posts.
While the building is outwardly three-storied, it has a single large hall in its interior.
Interestingly, the tallest column in the hall is made not of a single solid piece of wood but by combining several pieces.
Its majestic appearance combined with architectural stability makes Mireukjeon Hall one of the most admired historical wooden buildings in Korea today.