Bulguk-sa Temple- Treasures
Perhaps one of the most photographed sites in Korea, this staircase forms two "bridges," built seperately, but collectively designated National Treasure #23. The lower span is Blue Cloud Bridge (Chong-un kyo), and the upper one is White Cloud Bridge (Paek-un kyo). Buddhists believe that one enters "Buddha Land" (for which the temple was named) by crossing over the bridges and passing through Jaha mun (Golden Purple Gate, named for the colored splendors that hang around Buddha's hair in legends) at the top.
This staircase, designated National Treasure #22, is similar to the Blue Cloud and White Cloud Bridges. The lower span is named Yeonwha gyo (Lotus Flower Bridge), and the upper one is named Ch'ilbo gyo (Seven Treasures Bridge). Buddhists believe that crossing these bridges and passing through Anyang mun (Peace Enhancing Gate) leads to Guknak Jongdo (the Pure Land of Supreme Bliss).
Along the wall between the two sets of bridges is Bomyeoung ru. Named Bomjong gak (Brahma Bell Pavillion) when constructed in 751, the structure originally housed a bell. However, it now contains a dharma drum. The stone pillar of the platform was designed to imitate Mt. Sumeru, the imaginary mountain considered to be the center of the world and 33 heavens in Buddhist legends. For this reason it was sometimes called Sumi Bomjong gak (Sumeru Brahma Bell Pavillion).
Outside the main compound, near the gift shop, is a pavillion housing a large bell. The bell contains many ornate carvings and designs.
Tabo T'ap (Multi-jeweled Pagoda), National Teasure #20, is pictured on the reverse of the 10 won coin. The structure represents the teachings of Sokka Yorae (Sakyamuni Talhagata). Originally, a stone lion perched on each side of the pagoda's platform. Only one remains, the others having been stolen. The structure stands 10.4 meters high.
Seokka T'ap (Sagyamuni Pagoda), National Teasure #21, symbolizes Sokka Yorae (Sakyamuni Talhagata). The 3-story pagoda is typical of architecture during the Shilla period, but the eight lotus flowers decorated around the pagoda make this unique in Korea. It stands 8.2 meters high. Both Tabo T'ap and Seokka T'ap stand in the courtyard in front of Daeung Jeon (Great Enlightenment Hall).