10 Beautiful South Korean Temples

Korea has a long and storied history filled with stunning remnants of its Buddhist past, which began in the fourth century when Buddhism was introduced to Korea by Chinese monks. 

Set amid sprawling cities, tucked between towering mountains, and clinging to cliff-sides along the sparkling seas, there are over 900 beautiful South Korean temples that make a welcome, tranquil respite from the modern world. 

Bongeunsa Temple, Seoul

This stunning example of monastic beauty is more striking due to the juxtaposition of a 91-foot-tall stone Buddha statue gazing over the sleek skyscrapers in the trendy Gangnam district below. 

Jogyesa Temple, Seoul

The colorful temple standing now is a 20th-century replica of the original 14th-century building destroyed by fire centuries ago. It is an excellent example of the vibrant dancheong painting style found in Korean temple architecture. 

Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, Busan

Walk across the gently arched stone footbridge to reach the temple's unusual collection of sculptures, including the Seawater Great Goddess Buddha and a pagoda featuring four carved lions overlooking the sea. 

Donghwasa Temple, Daegu

Tucked amidst the foliage along a slope of Palgongsan Mountain, this temple's name means “Even in winter, the Empress tree blooms.” 

Baegyangsa, Bukha-myeon

Baegyangsa is a seventh-century gem that's as Instagrammable as they come, with the gently sloping roof of the main temple building backed by the towering granite peaks found in Naejangsan National Park. 

Tapsa Temple, Jinan

The temple's origins are unclear, but it's known for a mysterious collection of 80 stone pagodas built by a retired scholar who came to the area to pray for the souls of humankind in the 19th century. 

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