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Nine-story Stone Pagoda of Unjusa Temple, Hwasun

화순 운주사 구층석탑 ( 和順 雲住寺 九層石塔 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Nine-story Stone Pagoda of Unjusa Temple, Hwasun
Quantity 1 stone pagoda
Designated Date 1984.11.30
Age Unknown
Address 91-44, Cheontae-ro, Doam-myeon, Hwasun-gun, Jeollanam-do

Unjusa Temple embodies the myth that State Preceptor Doseon built 1000 Buddha images and 1000 pagodas in Jeolla-do so that the ship of state, symbolizing this country, would not list to port. The monk viewed the land of this country as a ship and was worried that the ship would tip over because there are more mountains than flat land in the Honam area, which was considered as the centre of the ship. The name of the temple, Unjusa, means that from a geomancy perspective, the land is in the shape of moving ship. This is a nine story stone pagoda placed 200 meters away from the temple’s Daeungjeon Hall. The pagoda has a huge rock for the base stone and the lower stylobate. The middle stylobate is made of four wide stones, and each stone has a pillar decoration on the edge and at the center. The pillar at the center is carved thickly, which divides the face into two. In particular, the upper stylobate functions instead of and as the roof stone of the main part. Every pagoda in Unjusa Temple follows the same pattern, which is considered characteristic of the Goryeo Dynasty. The bottom of the roof stone forms a gentle uprising curve at the tip and has comb-patterns along the eaves. This decoration has also been applied to the roof stone of the higher stories. The roof and the main stones are in general assembled into one. However, four slabs of stone were used to make the main stones of the second and the third stories. Unjusa has its own characteristics in decoration. The main stone has a diamond shape double engraving on the surface with floral patterns within the diamond. The finial was formed with a cylinder stone and the wheel shaped decoration. The pagoda is similar to other pagodas of the Goryeo period in respect of making the surface of the pagoda square, but different in that it does not have struts for the roof stone and retains rare decoration on the surface. This is indicative of the local traits that developed during Goryeo Dynasty. This is the tallest among the pagodas in Unjusa Temple. It was promoted to the status of treasure from that of local tangible cultural heritage in 1984.