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Historic Site

Gulsansa Temple Site, Gangneung

강릉 굴산사지 ( 江陵 崛山寺址 )

Heritage Search Detail
Classification Historic Site
Name of Cultural Properties Gulsansa Temple Site, Gangneung
Quantity 66698㎡
Designated Date 2003.06.02
Age The 9th year of the reign of King Munseong (847)
Address 597,, Haksan-ri, Gujeong-myeon, Gangneung, Gangwon-do and others

Gulsansa Temple Site is located in the area of the village community center in Haksan 2-ri, Gujeong-myeon, Gangneung. Founded by State Preceptor Beomil (810-889) in 851, the 13th year of the reign of King Munseong of Silla, it is the temple of Sagulsan School of Zen, one of the Nine Mountains School of Zen in Korea. Gulsansa Temple flourished under the patronage of local power holders during the Goryeo Dynasty; since it does not appear in documents after the early Joseon Dynasty, however, we can assume that it was closed around that time. Relics at the temple site include the Flagpole Supports at the Gulsansa Temple Site (Treasure), the biggest in Korea, Stupa at the Gulsansa Temple Site (Treasure), a stupa presumed to be that of State Preceptor Beomil, and Stone Seated Buddha at the Gulsansa Temple Site (Gangwon-do Cultural Heritage Material). These give some indication of the scale of the temple. The area around the temple is now farmland, and the exact boundaries of the temple site cannot be known. In 2002, however, flooding caused by typhoon Rusa led to an emergency excavation of the area, showing that the temple site stretched 140m east to west and 250m north to south. Evidence of three cultural layers was found. The first and second layers have been lost, but many parts of the third remain, and the sites of the main Buddha halls, monks’ rooms and corridors, and pagoda were found. The discovery of these remains renders historical and academic importance to the temple site, one of the Nine Mountains School of Zen.