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Jungakdan Shrine in Gyeryongsan Mountain, Gongju

공주 계룡산 중악단 ( 公州 鷄龍山 中嶽壇 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Treasure
Name of Cultural Properties Jungakdan Shrine in Gyeryongsan Mountain, Gongju
Quantity 3
Designated Date 1999.03.02
Age King Gojong of Joseon
Address San 8, Yanghwa-ri, Gyeryong-myeon, Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do

Jungakdan Shrine was built during the Joseon Period (1392-1910) to hold a sacrificial rite for guardian deities supposedly in Gyeryongsan Mountain, which had been regarded as a sacred mountain. This mountain was one of the five major mountains where sacrificial rites were held to guardian deities by those representing the government during the Unified Silla Period (676 - 935) -- Myohyangsan Mountain in the north was called Sangak (Upper Mountain), Jirisan Mountain in the south, Haak (Lower Mountain), and Gyeryongsan Mountain, Jungak (Middle Mountain) during the Joseon Period. The first sacrificial rite is said to have been held in 1394 (the 3rd year of King Taejo’s reign) in Gyeryongsan Mountain after Monk Muhak Daesa said that a mountain deity appeared in his dream. The altar in this mountain was closed in 1651 (the 2nd year of King Hyojong’s reign). In 1879 (the 16th year of King Gojong’s reign), the altar was restored at the instruction of Queen Myeongseong and named Jungakdan. The main gate, the middle gate, and the Jungakdan Shrine are located on an imaginary straight line on a slope, with the wall surrounding the entire place. The buildings and space composition in the place strictly follow the designated rules and formalities. The hanging tablet of the shrine is said to have been written by Yi Jung-ha (1846-1917), a high-ranking official. The shrine keeps a wooden altar where a memorial tablet and the portrait of the mountain deity are placed. The shrine (measuring 3 kan* by 3 kan) is set up on a 1.5m-high stone platform. It has a hip and gable roof. Flamboyant, august carvings and embellishments display workmanship unique to the late Joseon Period. The seven carved images placed on each side of the ridges of the roof are similar to those of the buildings in a royal palace or a gate tower in a castle. It is an important material since it is a place for holding sacrificial rites to mountain deities. (*kan: a unit of measurement referring to the distance between two columns)