Ryangchon Temple

The Ryangchon Temple is situated in Rakchon-ri, Kowon County, South Hamgyong Province. It was built in 753 and later rebuilt several times. It is famous for its invaluable paintings and other historical relics preserved intact.

Taeung Hall of Ryangchon Temple

Taeung Hall

Now there remain Taeung Hall, Muryangsu Hall and Manse Pavilion at the temple. Taeung Hall is a gabled building supported by tapering pillars, with three bays in front and three on each side, and the tops of the pillars are decorated with pot-bellied brackets. The present building of the hall is the one reconstructed in 1636.

The hall is decorated with colourful paintings of various geometric patterns such as circles, triangles or hexagons, all linked with one another in succession.

The wall between the right brackets is decorated with six gorgeously painted pictures.

The first shows a young man playing the Korean lute under a big pine tree and a crane flying in the sky on the right of the man; the second one is of a man looking at a falls; in the third one are seen several persons listening to what a grey-haired elderly man is saying; in the fourth one you can see three persons enjoying the sight of a rocky cliff; and the fifth and sixth pictures show several persons following a grey-haired elderly man seeing the sight of mountains and streams.

Pictures inside Taeung Hall

The space between the lintel and brackets in front is decorated with paintings of a Buddha, dragons, a phoenix, lotus flowers, waterlily flowers, cranes, tigers and clouds. Quite vivid are blue and yellow dragons playing with beads.

The walls between the brackets in the hall are all decorated with pictures of many colours and designs.

From the pictures you can see the then degeneration of the Buddhist world and a dissipated life of monks engrossed in double-dealing.

And the hall has a painting of 13 men and 9 women dancing while playing music of peasants with a flute, a horn, a Korean bamboo flute, kayagum, a Korean mandolin, large and small gongs, a drum and an hourglass drum, and another of a woman holding fruits on a tray in her hands and two women dancing in robes of feathers.

Manse Pavilion, rebuilt in 1729, is a building with five bays in front and three on each side. Its gable roof is supported by tapering pillars.

Manse Pavilion of Ryangchon Temple

The pavilion, too, boasts a lot of gorgeous pictures.

The temple is well preserved as national cultural heritage showing the high architectural standard of Korean ancestors.

(Uriminzokkiri - February 27, 2021)

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