Korea Day 10: Gyeongju pt. 1

To learn more about Korean history and visit some of the historic sites from over a thousand years ago, we took a trip to Gyeongju, a city near the southeastern coast and capital of the Silla Kingdom, which lasted from 57 BC all the way to 935 AD (see Wikipedia for more).

To maintain the traditional style, it's one of the only cities in Korea requiring buildings to continue to use traditional-style architecture. See here:

Starbucks

Yangdong Folk Village

We first went to a traditional Korean village that has existed since the 1300s (and people still live there today!). It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and was a great place to see traditional Korean architecture and history.

Folk Village

The Folk Village. The thatched roofs were for commoners, the fancy roofs for the aristocracy.

Gate

Gate leading up to one of the main houses.

Lotus flower

Lotus flower bud. Too bad it hasn't bloomed yet.

Roof closeup

Gyeongju National Museum

This museum had a lot of interesting exhibits on the history of the Silla Kingdom.

Royal Crown

The royal kings of Silla wore these awesome gold crowns.

City Model

A model of part of the original city. There was a 9-story temple which is pretty ridiculous for that time period.

Roof Tile

A single roof tile from a traditional building.

Royal Tombs of the Silla Kingdom

In the time of the Silla Kingdom, they buried their deceased kings inside huge mounds. The idea was that they were returning them back to the "womb" of the Earth.

Tombs

Tomb closeup

The mound is so steep they can't mow the whole thing.

Cheomseongdae Observatory

This stone observatory is the oldest astronomical observatory in East Asia.

Observatory

Anapji Pond

This area was part of the Silla palace. We went at night and there were beautiful views of the buildings on the pond. I got some great shots of the detailing in the roofs.

Building far

Roof corner 1

Roof corner 2

Building on the pond