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Historic Site

Mireuksa Temple Site, Iksan

익산 미륵사지 ( 益山 彌勒寺址 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Historic Site
Name of Cultural Properties Mireuksa Temple Site, Iksan
Quantity 13,384,699㎡
Designated Date 1966.06.22
Age Baekje Period
Address 32-2, Giyang-ri, Geumma-myeon, Iksan, Jeollabuk-do

This is the site of Mireuksa Temple located in Giyang-ri, Iksan-gun. According to Samguk yusa (Memorabilia of the Three Kingdoms), on the way to Sajasa Temple, King Mu of Baekje Dynasty and his queen saw the Maitreya Buddha Triad appearing at the pond down Yonghwasan Mountain. Later, at the request of the queen, King Mu had the pond reclaimed and pagodas, halls for the image of Buddha, and ambulatory built. According to the record, Mireuksa Temple was built during the reign of King Mu and closed during the Joseon Dynasty. The temple has two stone pagodas -- Dongtap (east pagoda) and Seotop (west pagoda) – as well as one wooden pagoda between them and several halls for the image of Buddha behind the pagodas. The layout of the buildings of the temple is very unique, with the ambulatory dividing the buildings. All the halls for the image of Buddha have 5 front rooms and 4 side rooms. The area below the room seems to have been made to protect the wooden floor against moisture. Some buildings of the temple, which were equipped with Ondol (floor heating system), are important in studying the development of Ondol in the Goryeo and Joseon eras. The excavated relics of this temple include roof tiles -- some of which had letters written on them – as well as earthen vessels, metals, and wooden materials. Seotap (west pagoda), designated as National Treasure No. 11, is truly valuable as the oldest stone pagoda. In the pavilion, one can see the miniature of the restored Mireuksa Temple. Mireuksa, which has great historical importance, is a kind of guardian temple built with the intention of protecting the state with the spirit of Buddha and was considered very important until the end of the Baekje Dynasty.