Colonial Korea: Muwisa Temple – 무위사 (Gangjin, Jeollanam-do)

Muwisa6Part of Treasure #1315 is a painting centred by Amita-bul from 1476. This black and white picture was taken in 1933.

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Muwisa Temple is located in the beautiful Wolchulsan National park on the south side near the city of Gangjin, Jeollanam-do. The temple is first believed to have been built back in 617 A.D. by the famed monk, Wonhyo-daesa. At this time, the temple was known as Gwaneumsa Temple after the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Gwanseeum-bosal. Later, in the 10th century, it was expanded by the equally famous monk, Doseon-guksa. It was at this time that the temple came to be known as Muwigapsa Temple.

In total, the temple houses two National Treasures and four additional Treasures. The first of the national treasures, National Treasure #13, is the main hall at Muwisa Temple: the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall. This hall dates back to 1430. The other national treasure is National Treasure #313, which is a mural of Amita-bul that backs the triad of statues on the main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon. The mural is believed to date back to 1476.

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The exterior of the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall in 1933. The hall is National Treasure #13.

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Some eaves from the main hall at Muwisa Temple.

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And some more from the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.

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And a final picture that captures some more of the intricate woodwork on the main hall at Muwisa Temple.

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A look inside the Geukrakbo-jeon at the historic painting of Amita-bul. This picture was also taken in 1933.

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Another historic painting of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas inside the Geukrakbo-jeon from 1933.

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The main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon. The mural backing the main altar is National Treasure #313.

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The main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon Hall.

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The ceiling inside the main hall above the main altar at Muwisa Temple.

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The Geukrakbo-jeon as it appeared in 2014.

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The main altar inside the Geukrakbo-jeon with National Treasure #313 backing the triad of altar statues.

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The decorative ceiling above the main altar.

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The Gwanseeum-bosal mural on the back side of the main altar.

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One of the historic murals that adorns the interior of the Geukrakbo-jeon.

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As well as another.

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