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Gyeongsangbuk-do » Gyeongju-si » The Divine Bell of King Seongdeok (성덕대왕신종)


The Divine Bell of King Seongdeok (성덕대왕신종)   
The Divine Bell of K...
The Divine Bell of K...
  • The Divine Bell of K...
  • The Divine Bell of King Seongdeok (성덕대왕신종)
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186, Iljeong-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
경북 경주시 일정로 186 (인왕동)
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The Divine Bell of King Seongdeok (성덕대왕신종), the largest Korean bell preserved, stands 3.75m tall, has a lip diameter of 2.27m, and is 11-25cm wide. In 1997, Gyeongju National Museum weighed it at 18.9 tons. The bell was cast to pay tribute to the memory of King Seongdeok. It was completed in 771 and named ‘The Divine Bell of King Seongdeok.’ However, because the bell was installed at Bongdeoksa Temple, it has also been called the Bell of Bongdeoksa.

The bell is also known as the Emile Bell (에밀레종), a name derived from an ancient legend in which a child was sacrificed in order to give sound to the bell, whose echoes of ‘em-ee-leh’ resemble the traditional Korean word for "mommy."

The tubular sound pipe at the top of the bell that helps the sound reverberate is a unique feature that can be found only in Korean bells. The yongnyu, which servers as a loop to hang the bell, has been decorated to resemble a dragon’s head. A band of arabesque patterns can be found at the shoulder, and the striking point of the bell is in the shape of a lotus flower.

The magnificent design and inscription methods used in this bell exemplify the craftsmanship of artisan’s from the Unified Silla period. The bell is also inscribed with over one thousand Chinese characters, and its beauty and integrity have been meticulously preserved despite the passage of over 1,300 years.

Gyeongju National Museum
Current Status
[The Divine Bell of King Seongdeok] National Treasure No. 29 (Designated on December 20,1962
Jan.1 and every Monday (Gyeongju National Museum)
Operating Hours
*Gyeongju National Museum
09:00 - 18:00 (Saturdays and Holidays 09:00 - 19:00)
*last admission is 1 hour before closing.
Admission Fees
- Dong Seoul Bus Terminal to Gyeongju,
Departure every 40-60 minutes (07:00-24:00), travel time of 4 hours.
- Gangnam Express Bus Terminal to Gyeongju,
Departure every 40-60 minutes (06:05-23:55), travel time of 4 hours.

From Gyeongju Bus Terminal or Gyeongju Train Station
-Take Bus 11, 600 or 603.
-Get off at the Gyeongju National Museum bus stop.

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