Jogyesa Temple – 조계사 (Jongno, Seoul)


A View of the Main Hall at Jogyesa Temple in Jongno, Seoul.

Hello Again Everyone!! Jogyesa Temple, in the heart of Seoul, was first established in 1910. When the temple was first established, a building from Gakhwangsa Temple in neighbouring Susong Park was transferred to the present Jogyesa Temple grounds in 1938. This building, which no longer exists, was funded nationally for Korea’s first Korean Buddhist mission. At this time it was renamed Taegosa Temple. The temple changed its name, after the Buddhist Purification Movement in 1954, to its current name of Jogyesa Temple.

You first enter the temple, which is surrounded on all sides by stores selling various Buddhist items, through the entrance gate. The four pillars that support the gate are fronted by the Four Heavenly Kings in beautiful metal form. As you step into the temple courtyard, you’ll notice the ten-tier stone pagoda. The massive main hall occupies the majority of the compact temple courtyard. The exterior walls are adorned with some masterful Palsang-do murals, as well as some stunning floral latticework. Inside the always busy main hall sits a triad of very large statues centred by Seokgamoni-bul (The Historical Buddha).

To the left of the main hall is the temple’s elevated bell pavilion, which is joined by the Yeongsan-jeon. There are an assortment of administrative buildings in this area, as well as the temple’s gift shop. To the rear of the main hall is the Central Buddhist Museum. If you have the time, the museum is well worth a visit. Most prominent, it houses National Treasure #126, which is the Sarira Reliquaries from the Three-story Stone Pagoda of Bulguksa Temple from around the 8th century.

HOW TO GET THERE: There’s one of three ways that you can get to Jogyesa Temple. The first is from Jonggak subway station (line 1). Go through exit #2 and travel straight for 70 metres. You’ll then need to cross the street and go an additional 100 metres, where you’ll finally see the temple. The second way you can visit the temple is by getting off at Anguk subway station (line 3). Go out exit #6 and go straight for 50 metres. You’ll then need to cross the street in front of Dongduk Gallery. The temple lies an additional 50 metres straight ahead. The third way that you can get to the temple is by getting off at Gwanghwamun subway station (line 5). Take exit #2 and go straight for 150 metres. The temple lies between YTN Parking Tower and Hana Bank.

OVERALL RATING: 8/10. The massive main hall, in its own right, is enough reason to visit Jogyesa Temple. The beautiful murals and latticework that adorns the main hall only help to elevate its beauty. Inside this large hall are equally large sized main altar statues. Add into the mix the metal Heavenly King artwork at the temple entry, as well as the Central Buddhist Museum, and you have more than enough reason to get to this easily accessible temple in the heart of Seoul.


The entry gate at Jogyesa Temple.


One of the unique metal Heavenly Kings.


Another up-close of a Cheonwang.


The ten-tier stone pagoda in the centre of the temple courtyard.


The hovering temple bell pavilion.


 A look towards the massive main hall.


Some of the hanging temple artwork just outside the main hall.


The floral latticework adorning the main hall.


Just one of the masterful Palsang-do murals.


A look inside the packed main hall.


The equally large Seokgamoni-bul altar statue.


The Yeongsan-jeon hall to the left of the main hall.


A sign for the Central Buddhist Museum.


A look at National Treasure #126.

2 thoughts on “Jogyesa Temple – 조계사 (Jongno, Seoul)

  1. Pingback: Jogyesa: A Buddhist Temple in the Heart of Seoul | S.K. in S.K.

  2. Pingback: The Beomeosa Temple Stay: Uncovering Korean Buddhist Culture | Spiritual Travels

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