The exact construction date of Jogyemun Gate of Beomeosa Temple is unknown, but it is presumed to have been built in 1614 (the 6th year of the reign of King Gwanghaegun of the Joseon Dynasty) when Buddhist monk Myojeon in charge of the temple initiated the repair and restoration of several halls at the temple.
Beomeosa Temple itself is one of the three major temples located in Gyeongsangnam-do.
According to the Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), the temple was founded by Buddhist monk Uisang in 678 (the 18th year of the reign of King Munmu of the Unified Silla Dynasty).
It is said that the Buddhist monks of Beomeosa Temple fought in the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592.
Jogyemun Gate was repaired in 1781 (the 5th year of the reign of King Jeongjo) by Master Baegam.
The gate measures three kan (a unit of measurement referring to the distance between two columns) at the front, and has a gabled roof resembling the Chinese character 人 when viewed from the side.
The eaves of the roof are supported by a system of brackets placed on and between the pillars in the dapo (multi-bracket system) style.
The gate’s distinctive features include the short wooden pillars placed on top of the tall, large foundation stones.
All the wooden surfaces of the gate are painted in a variety of colors and designs.
Jogyemun Gate represents the Buddhist principle that all the laws of the world lead to one path, and is therefore called the “gate to the three ways of nirvana.” Situated at the entrance to the temple, the gate serves as the Iljumun Gate of temples, being the first gate through which one must pass to enter the temple.
The structural balance of the gate’s individual parts and components lends overall stability to its form and is aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
The gate is both a masterpiece of the Iljumun type of gate and an exemplar of the structural beauty of traditional Korean architecture.