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Thursday, 11 June 2015

Iron Flagpole of Yongdusa Temple Site, Cheongju Sangdang-gu, Northern Chungcheong: A sturdy flagpole that stands in the urbanized Cheongju City

A fair warning to all of you, foolish Korean KanColle haters. Meet her at the flagpole and apologize her.
The Iron Flagpole of Yongdusa Temple Site (Hanja/Romanization: 龍頭寺址鐵幢竿/Yongdusaji Cheoldanggan) is the oldest flagpole in Korea, located at Nammunno 2-ga 48-19 beonji, Cheongju Sangdang-gu, Northern Chungcheong Province. Located at the site of Yongdusa Temple, the flagpole is designated as the 41st Korean National Treasure in December 20th 1962. It is made of twenty iron cylinders, stands 13.1 meters tall and was formerly used to hang flags to honor the Buddha.

The construction of the flagpole is dated back to 962 CE, during the 13th Reigning Year of King Gwangjong Wang So of Goryeo Dynasty. However, the upper part of the flagpole was gone because of prolonged iron rusting. When it comes to this flagpole, there aren't many left because there are three flagpoles left in Korea apart of the Iron Flagpole of Yongdusa Temple Site - Iron Flagpole of Gapsa Temple in Gongju at the same province and Iron Flagpole of Chiljangsa Temple in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province.

There is an interesting story about this flagpole. There was a monk passing through Cheongju and decided to rest the night. That night, the Buddha appeared in monk's dream, told him to go to Yongdusa Temple and raise a mast so that the boat wouldn't float away. So he woke up in the next morning and met the head monk of Yongdusa. Coincidentally, the head monk had dreamt the same dream. This is because Cheongju was prone to flash floods in that period.

The flagpole is located in the bustling commercial zone in Cheongju Sangdang-gu. It is become the center of attraction where several shops and shopping malls such as 7-Eleven, Starbucks Coffee Seongan-gil Branch, Uniqlo Boutique and Lotte Young Plaza Cheongju Branch located around the flagpole. This is the suitable place to rendezvous your friends or lovers because of local citizens' catchphrase, "See you at the flagpole."