Gakhwangjeon Hall

National Treasure #67, Hwaeomsa Temple
Jirisan National Park, Korea

Hwaeomsa, named in honor of the Flower Garland Sutra (Kr. Hwaeom, Ch. Huayan), was built under Silla in 544, destroyed in the Imjin wars, and later reconstructed. Gakhwangjeon, although not the main hall of Hwaeomsa, is the largest. It was rebuilt in 1703. In front of the hall are a stone pagoda and lantern (following pages) that survive from the Unified Silla period (668-935). For many additional photos of the temple, see the Oriental Architecture website; we discuss a few of the highlights here.

Jirisan is one of five sacred mountains in Korea: Taebaeksan (N), Tohamsan (E), Jirisan (S), Gyeryeongsan (W), and Buaksan (center). Originally devoted to shamanic worship, they were converted into the homes of bodhisattvas when Buddhism spread throughout the country.