Skip Navigation

Heritage Search


Lion Pagoda at Wontongjeon Hall of Hwaeomsa Temple, Gurye

구례 화엄사 원통전 앞 사자탑 ( 求禮 華嚴寺 圓通殿 앞 獅子塔 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Lion Pagoda at Wontongjeon Hall of Hwaeomsa Temple, Gurye
Quantity 1 pagoda
Designated Date 1963.01.21
Age Unified Silla
Address Hwaeomsa Temple 539, Hwaeomsa-ro, Masan-myeon, Gurye-gun, Jeollanam-do

Hwaeomsa Temple, built in the Unified Silla Period, spread the Hwaeom Order of Buddhism. Since its foundation this temple was known as a place where monks stayed for disseminating Hwaeom doctrines. The Buddhist Monk Doseon expanded it in the late Silla. In the reign of King Munjong of Goryeo, it was permitted that one could offer grain in Jeolla-do and Gyeongsang-do to this temple every year, and so a large storage was built outside the Iljumun Gate. It was burnt down during the Japanese Invasion of Korea in 1592, but some buildings were rebuilt 7 years later. Through many periods of reconstruction, the temple has kept its present structure. This pagoda, a unique stone pagoda of Unified Silla erected in front of Wontongjeon Hall, is supported by four lion statues supporting a square stone laid on their heads. This kind of pagoda is usually called noju (stone pillar) in temple. But it is not exactly known what it was used for. There is a presumption that it might have been used either for preserving sarira or for holding memorial services. The lower one of two-story stylobate, made of patternless stone, looks simple. On the upper stylobate, the most special part, were laid the four lion statues. Each statue, perched on lotus pedestal, has a stone engraved with a lotus design on its head. In the body of the pagoda, there is rectangular shaped main stone surrounded by rectangular border on each side, and a guardian deity is engraved in it. Above the main stone, there is a square plane stone engraved with lotus flower on the bottom and decorated with a hemispherical stone surging on the upper side. Although this pagoda imitates the Four Lion Three-story Stone Pagoda of Hwaeomsa Temple, Gurye (Treasure No. 35), judging from its inferior carving skills, it is assumed to have been built far later than it, in the ninth century.