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National Treasure

Octagonal Nine-story Stone Pagoda of Woljeongsa Temple, Pyeongchang

평창 월정사 팔각 구층석탑 ( 平昌 月精寺 八角 九層石塔 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification National Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Octagonal Nine-story Stone Pagoda of Woljeongsa Temple, Pyeongchang
Quantity 1 Pagoda
Designated Date 1962.12.20
Age Goryeo
Address 374-8, Odaesan-ro, Jinbu-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

Standing in the precincts of Woljeongsa Temple established by a renowned Silla monk, Buddhist Monk Jajang (c. 590-c. 658), this stone pagoda is attended to by two stone bodhisattvas seated at opposite sides.
The pagoda consists of an octagonal double-tier base, a nine-story main body, and a finial. The base has its sides carved with “elephant eye” design and footstalls on top of each tier to support the upper structure. Compared with other multiple-story pagodas built in the same period and wherein each level is notably smaller than the last one, this pagoda maintains almost the same height and size from the second level upward and has niches on the four sides of its first story, which had once been used to enshrine Buddha images. The roof stones have their eight corners gently turned up, each with a bronze bell hung under it; its eaves are simply trimmed without stepped cornices. The pagoda displays a finial of multiple ornaments, with those of the lower portion made of stone and those of the upper portion made of gilt-bronze; their original condition is perfectly preserved.
The pagoda represents the tendency of early Goryeo Period wherein the square pagodas of the early period were gradually replaced by polygonal pagodas particularly in the northern areas on the Korean Peninsula. It is a fine example of the polygonal multi-storied pagodas built during the Goryeo Period, exhibiting excellent carving skills and perfect proportion that reflect the splendor in and sophisticated aesthetic taste of the Goryeo aristocracy. The pagoda with its bronze wind bells and gilt-bronze finial ornaments also provides valuable sources of knowledge regarding the metal art and craft of the period.