Designated as a World Cultural Asset for its historical origin, outstanding stone relics and high-value, ancient artifacts it still has in store, originally called ‘Hwaeom Bulguksa Temple’ or ‘Beopryusa Temple’, Bulguksa Temple is the representative relic of Gyeongju was built in 528 during the Silla Kingdom, in the 15th year of King Beop-Heung's reign (514-540).
Bulguksa Temple despite being a historical beauty, has undergone a series of damages. It underwent numerous renovations from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), but was burned down during the Imjin War (Japanese Invasions, 1592-1598). Reconstruction started again in 1604 during the 37th year of King Seon-jo’s reign (Joseon Dynasty) and was renovated about 40 times until 1805 (during the reign of King Sun-Jo, 1790-1834). After this time, the temple suffered serious damage and was often the target of robbers.
A Bulguksa Temple Restoration Committee was formed in 1969 and the temple was later on restored. Broke sites were rebuilt and repaired to its original form. Even today, Bulguksa Temple is home to many important cultural relics such as Dabotap Pagoda (National Treasure No. 20), Seokgatap Pagoda (National Treasure No. 21), Yeonhwa-gyo & Chilbo-gyo Bridges (National Treasure No. 22), Cheongun-gyo & Baegun-gyo Bridges (National Treasure No. 23), Seokguram Grotto (National Treasure No. 24), the Golden Seated Vairocana Buddhist Figure (National Treasure No. 26), the Golden Seated Amita Figure (National Treasure No. 27), and Saritap Pagoda (Treasure No. 61).
*photo source: https://blog.naver.com/jach68/220204895394