Photos of Buddhist temples in Seoul, Korea

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Buddhist temples in Seoul

Buddhism in Korea was introduced from China to Korea in the 4th century CE; Korean scholars brought it to Japan within the following two centuries. Korean Buddhism is of the Mahayana tradition, mostly of the Seon lineage, closely related to Zen and is primarily represented by the Jogye and Taego Orders. The main temple in Seoul is Jogyesa, the headquarters of the Jogye sect and the centre of Zen Buddhism in Korea. It was first established in 1395, at the dawn of the Joseon Dynasty; the modern temple was founded in 1910 and became the chief temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism in 1936.

Paper sculptures
 
Buddha's Birthday
 
Daewoongjeon
 
Burning incense
 
Pagoda, Jogyesa
 
Lanterns, Jogyesa
 
Lighted decorations
 
Lighted lanterns
 
Sculptures, Bongeunsa
 
Fa├žade, Bongeunsa
 
Bongeunsa temple
 
Temple courtyard
 
Drum tower, Bongeunsa
 
Drumming, Bongeunsa
 
Drumming, Bongeunsa
 
Drumming, Bongeunsa
 
Ringing the bronze bell
 
Ringing the temple bell
 
Bronze bell, Bongeunsa
 
Buddha statue, Bongeunsa
 
Wall paintings, Bongeunsa
 
Wall painting, Bongeunsa
 
Praying in Bongeunsa
 
Main hall of Bongeunsa
 

Bongeunsa temple, in the busy district of Gangnam, was founded in the year 794 during the reign of the Silla King Wonseong by the highest ranking monk, named Yeon-hoe; its original name was Kyongseoungsa. It was reconstructed in 1498 under the patronage of a Joseon Queen (although Buddhism was repressed under the Joseon Dynasty) and it became the main temple of the Korean Seon (Zen) sect of Buddhism from 1551 through 1936, when Jogyesa became the main temple.

Both temples are very popular and well visited, especially during special celebrations, like Buddha's Birthday, traditionally celebrated in Mahayana Buddhism to commemorate the birth, around the year 563 BCE in Lumbini (modern-day Nepal), of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who later became the Gautama Buddha and the founder of Buddhism.