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Stupa of Buddhist Monk Wonjong at Godalsa Temple Site, Yeoju

여주 고달사지 원종대사탑 ( 驪州 高達寺址 元宗大師塔 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Stupa of Buddhist Monk Wonjong at Godalsa Temple Site, Yeoju
Quantity 1 stupa
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Goryeo
Address San 46-1, Sanggyo-ri, Bungnae-myeon, Yeoju-gun, Gyeonggi-do

This Buddhist stupa has been preserved in almost perfect condition together with a monument and many stone relics scattered within the precincts of this huge temple site. It consists of the body of the Buddha placed on top of a stylobate and overlaid with roof stones. While following the octagonal form typical of most stupas, its uniquely-structured stylobate features a lotus flower design engraved on the square ground stones. The bottom supporting stones are square, while the middle and upper supporting stones are octagonal. In other words, the upper part has octagonal bands arranged in one line. The lower part features a design of clouds, between which are placed several turtles looking to the right, and four dragons flying around the turtles. The top supporting stones are engraved with lotus flowers.
Four sides of the body are engraved with gates while the other four are carved with a Four Guardian Kings design. The eaves of the roof are horizontal and rise upward at the corners, and contain a flower design. It is topped with a capstone that resembles a roof-stone.
The general appearance of the stupa is octagonal. However, the fact that the bottom supporting stones have been pieced together in straight, rectangular forms is a unique characteristic of the period. The engravings on the middle supporting stones show very prominently the technical skills of the Goryeo Period, with each part forming a splendid harmony with the whole. Although the stylobate is a little portly, it is well proportioned.
The subject of this pagoda, Buddhist Monk Wonjong, was born in 869 (the 9th year of the reign of King Gyeongmun of Silla) and entered nirvana in the 958 (the 9th year of the reign of King Gwangjong of Goryeo). The year of its establishment is conjectured to be 977 (the 2nd year of the reign of King Gyeongjong of Goryeo) according to the Stele for Buddhist Monk Wonjong at Godalsa Temple Site.