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Namsan


There is an old saying that Gyeongju starts and ends at Namsan. Namsan includes the two peaks of Gowi and Geumo, which stand at 494 m and 468m above sea level, respectively. Namsan is a small mountain with a height of 108m at its center, with Gyeongju lying like a basin to the north and south. Since ancient times, the Shilla people regarded Namsan as a holy place. The trees of the mountain were never cut as it was believed that the spirits of the mountain roamed from peak to wooded peak.

 

 

Namsan is often likened to a widespread museum. A number of artifacts, such as kings’ tombs, shrines, Buddha statues and towers are scattered along the ridges, foothills, and valleys. The representative artifact of the mountain is the tomb of Queen Seondeok. The tomb of Queen Seondeok is located on the south ridge and is known as “the best place under the heavens”. The tomb even seems to be protected by a heavenly guard of majestic pine trees.

 


The artifacts in Namsan are not remarkable as individuals, but together make for a lovely display nestled in harmony with the natural rise and fall of the mountainside. Famous artifacts include the three tier stone tower of Yongjangsaji which uses the whole of Namsan as its base and the Mae Statues which are scattered along the rocky mountainside.

 

 

The tower and Buddha statue in Namsan reflect the values of the Shilla dynasty itself, where Buddhism was not only a religion, but a way of life. Namsan is a mountain which is famous for its granite composition, like that of most of the mountains near Gyeongju. Seokgulam, Dabotap and Sukgatap were made of granite block. But despite ample granite resources, the essence of Shilla architecture is found in its wooden buildings, of which there are no longer any remaining ruins, making the ruins of Namsan even more precious.

 

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Ancient City of A Thousand-Year Kingdom, Gyeongju Historical Heritage Region
Namsan
Ruins of Hwangryong Temple