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Stele for the Construction of Amitabha Buddha at Mujangsa Temple Site, Gyeongju

경주 무장사지 아미타불 조상 사적비 ( 慶州 鍪藏寺址 阿彌陀佛 造像 事蹟碑 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Stele for the Construction of Amitabha Buddha at Mujangsa Temple Site, Gyeongju
Quantity 2 steles
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Unified Silla
Address San 1-9, Amgok-dong, Gyeongju, Gyeongsangbuk-do

This stele was erected by Queen Gyehwa, consort of King Soseong (r. 799-800) who was the 39th king of the Silla Dynasty (B.C.57-A.D.935), to pray for her dead husband for whom she also had an Amitabha Buddha made at the Mujangsa Temple site in Gyeongju. The stele contains an inscription on the construction process of Amitabha Buddha. Some fragments of the stele excavated in 1915 suggested that the Buddhist temple called Mujangsa was once located here. The temple is believed to have been set up by Hyoyang, father of Silla's 38th King Wonseong, in memory of his uncle. Most parts of the stele were destroyed; the body of the stele is preserved in another place, and the partly broken base and headless capstone are left in this temple site. The square pedestal where the body of the stele is inserted has the twelve figures of the Oriental zodiac carved on the four sides. The capstone is carved with a dragon carrying a cintamani with its forefeet in the clouds. On the left side is an investigation record made by Kim Jeong-hui, a famous epigraphist of the Joseon Dynasty. This stele provides a very important clue as to how the capstones of the steles had been changed, because one rarely finds a stele without a missing capstone, except the Stele for King Taejong Muyeol, Gyeongju (National Treasure No. 25) made in the early Unified Silla period.