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Monday, 3 March 2014

Namo Palbeon Daebosal, Part XV: Bongguksa, Seongnam Sujeong-gu, Gyeonggi Province

Located in 79 Taepyeong Avenue/Taepyeongno, Taepyeong 2-dong 216-2 beonji, Seongnam Sujeong-gu, Gyeonggi Province - Bongguksa (Hanja: 奉國寺) was originally built in 1028 (19th reigning year of King Hyeonjong of Goryeo Dynasty).

Though once destroyed to the ground, it was rebuilt in 1395 (4th year of the reign of King Taejo Yi Seong-gye of the Joseon Dynasty). In 1673, King Hyeonjong of Joseon, the ruler at the time, remodeled the temple to pray for the repose of his two daughters - Princess Myeonghye and Princess Myeongseon, both of whom had died young.

Daegwangmyeongjeon Sermon Hall of Bongguksa Temple is rare building adopting the temple construction techniques which prevailed in the Joseon Dynasty during the 18th century, including the gale roof. This temple, which has 3 sections on the facade and another 3 on the flank, looks grand as its roof is wide compared with its body. Though temples of this type enshrines Dainiti Nnyorai statues, this temple enshrines an Amitabha statue at its center, surrounded by a Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha to its left and right. 

Currently, 3 temple buildings and 3 auxiliary structures remain in this temple site: Daegwangmyeongjeon Sermon Hall - Tangible Cultural Property of Gyeonggi Province no. 101; Samseonggak House; Shimgeomdang Shrine; lljumun Gate; Cheonwangmun Gate; Beomjongnu Belfry.

Many Buddhists come here to pray at its regular services held at 10:30 a.m. on every Sunday, on 1st, 15th, 18th and 24th day of each lunar month. Those for children, high and middleschool students are held at 10 a.m. every Sunday. This temple is accessible by using KORAIL Bundang Line to Station K223: Gachon University Station/가천대역/嘉泉大驛.