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National Treasure 17

Stone Lantern at Muryangsujeon Hall of Buseoksa Temple, Yeongju
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Classification National Treasure 17
Name of Cultural Properties Stone Lantern at Muryangsujeon Hall of Buseoksa Temple, Yeongju
Quantity 1 lantern
Designated Date 1962.12.20
Age Unified Silla Period
Address Buseoksa Temple, 345, Buseoksa-ro, Buseok-myeon, Yeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

Stone lanterns generally represent the light of Buddha, and are usually placed in front of important structures such as a main prayer hall or a pagoda. Stone lanterns consist of a niche in which a candle is placed, a post, stone supports, and a roofstone with a head decoration on the top.
This attractive, harmoniously proportioned stone lantern, located in front of Muryangsujeon Hall of Buseoksa Temple, was made in the Unified Silla Period. The square platform is carved with decorative designs, and a large lotus flower is carved on the lantern pedestal supporting the typical octagonal post. There is a carving of a lotus flower in full bloom over the supporting stone holding the lantern proper. The octagonal niche has openings on four sides, while the other four sides feature elaborately-carved Bodhisattva images. The roofstone is also octagonal, its corner end rising slightly to give an impression of lightness. Only the supporting stones of the head decoration remain on the roofstone.
The graceful masterpiece is considered the most beautiful and harmoniously proportioned stone lantern produced in the Unified Silla Period. Notably, the stone lantern looks more prominent thanks to the Bodhisattva image elaborately carved on the four faces of the niche.