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Stele of State Preceptor Wongong at Geodonsa Temple Site, Wonju

원주 거돈사지 원공국사탑비 ( 原州 居頓寺址 圓空國師塔碑 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Stele of State Preceptor Wongong at Geodonsa Temple Site, Wonju
Quantity 1 stele
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Goryeo
Address 144, Jeongsan-ri, Buron-myeon, Wonju, Gangwon-do

This stone stele, erected at the Geodonsa Temple site in 1025 (the 16th year of the reign of King Hyeonjong of the Goryeo Dynasty), bears an inscription about the life, activities, and virtue of State Preceptor Wongong (930-1018), who went by the Buddhist name of Jijong and the family name of Yi.
The inscription was written by Choe Chung (otherwise known as Haedonggongja), the greatest scholar of the time, and the calligraphy was done by Kim Geo-ung. The letters inscribed on the monument are written in the square style of Chinese handwriting, which originated in China from the calligraphy of Ou Yang-xun. It ranks among the best inscriptions of the time and stand comparison with Chinese work.
The stele consists of three parts: pedestal, body, and ornamental capstone. Notably, the stele has a small body and a large top. The stele’s pedestal features something more akin to a dragon’s head than the more common tortoise head, while the pattern on the back of the tortoise consists of a regular hexagon with embossed swastika and lotus blossom designs. The top of the stele is carved with a grim image of a dragon enveloped in flames that is both realistic and splendid.
According to a local story, the roof stone is so heavy that it couldn’t be moved an inch even by strong young men, but a cow was able to move it.