Seven-Storied Pagoda from Hyonhwa Temple



At the Koryo Museum, situated in Kaesong in the central part of Korea, there is a seven-storied pagoda which was moved from the Hyonhwa Temple built in the period of Koryo (918-1392) well-known to the world as the first unified state in Korea.

The pagoda was built in 1020 at a temple called Hyonhwa, and later it was moved to the Koryo Museum.

The 8.64-metre-high pagoda consists of a pedestal, each side of which is 3.9 metres long, seven-storied body and head.

The pagoda is one of the comparatively big ones of its kind in the days of Koryo.

Three columns stand on each side of the pedestal, and the sides were filled with five layers of fine brick-like stones. The columns are topped by stone slabs. Such pedestal formation is rare to be seen in the pagodas of old.

Also unique is that the eaves and corner columns of each storey are finished to be curved.

The Buddhist images embossed on every storey of the body are refined and excellent in sculptural skills.

The pagoda, for its large scale, bold techniques, elaborate details and the balance between the whole and its parts, is a precious national treasure, which showcases the techniques and development of pagoda building of the Korean people.