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Treasure 608

Bogwangmyeongjeon Hall of Wibongsa Temple, Wanju
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Classification Treasure 608
Name of Cultural Properties Bogwangmyeongjeon Hall of Wibongsa Temple, Wanju
Quantity 1 building
Designated Date 1977.08.22
Age King Mu of Baekje
Address Wibongsa Temple 53, Wibong-gil, Soyang-myeon, Wanju-gun, Jeollabuk-do

There exist a number of theories regarding the origin of Wibongsa Temple.

According to some sources, it was built in 604 (the 5th year of King Mu’s reign of Baekje) by the Buddhist monk Seoam.

The name “Wibongsa,” according to another source, was chosen by a late Silla man by the name of Choi Yong-gak who saw three phoenixes at the site of the temple.

Wibongsa is said to have been expanded in 1358 (the 8th year of King Gongmin’s reign of Goryeo) by the monk Naong hwasang and repaired in 1466 (the 12th year of King Sejo’s reign of Joseon) by Buddhist monk Seokjam.

Bogwangmyeongjeon Hall, meanwhile, is dated to circa 17th century, based on its architectural style.

The name tablet above the entrance is said to date from 1828 (the 28th year of King Sunjo).

This building, extending three kan (a unit of measurement referring to the distance between two columns) on the front and three on the side, is surmounted by a hipped-and-gabled roof.

Columnar bracket sets supporting the eaves are present both at the top of the columns and between the columns.

The sanctuary inside has a coffered ceiling.

The Buddha statue sits under a stately canopy, adorned with cloud and dragon motifs and beads shaped like cintamani.

The gold decorative painting on the woodwork is still quite vivid and not at all faded.

The altarpiece, a painting of Avalokitesvara clad in white, contributes, along with a series of other Buddhist paintings next to it, to the solemn and serene atmosphere of this place of worship.

The building sheds important light on the wooden Buddhist architecture of Joseon, and more particularly on the decorative painting techniques of this period.