Following lunch in Pohang, we journeyed back to Geongju for a visit to the Geongju National Museum. Most of the items in the collection are from the Silla era of the Three Kingdoms, the era of growth and flourishing of Buddhism in Korea prior to the era of the introduction of Confucianism. One of buildings on the compound dealt with the architectural details of Buddhist temples. Another building focused on various statues, large and small, of the Buddha which were unearthed during excavations of destroyed/eroded temples.
Our final stop before dinner was to a site of two Buddhist temples. Bunhwangsa is a small temple with an important pagoda in the history of Korean Buddhism. Most of the more "recent" temple pagodas in Korea are made of stone. This particular pagoda was envisioned by someone who had made an expedition to China and saw many pagodas made of brick. Rather than actually making Bunhwangsa's pagoda out of brick, stones were cut to resemble brick. This temple is immediately adjacent to the ruins of another temple: Hwangnyongsa. The temple and pagoda previously standing on this site burned in 1238 (originally built in 600s). This temple and pagoda were made primarily of wood, but the stone braces on which the structures rested as well as the stone reinforcements placed under the portion of the temple which held the heavy stone Buddha statue are still visible today after having been unearthed several decades ago.
It was a great day of remote road roaming that helped me to interact with POSCO, one of Korea's newer friends (historically speaking), and these special historic sites.