Kwangbop Temple

June 5, 2023

Located in Taesong District, Pyongyang, the Kwangbop Temple was built under the reign of King Kwanggaetho of Koguryo (277 BC-AD 668).

The temple consists of the Haethal and Chonwang gates, Taeung Hall, east and west Buddhist monasteries, an octagonal five-storey pagoda, and others.

Buildings are distributed symmetrically along the central axis leading to a tower. The temple distribution system whereby buildings are laid out on four sides centring on a tower was often used in the period of Koguryo.

The Taeung Hall, the main building of the temple, was gorgeously painted. There are sculptures of young monks riding an elephant and lion at the Haethal Gate, while the Chonwang Gate has sculptures of Four Devas.

There remain a lotus pond which has been handed down since olden times, a monument to the Kwangbop Temple built in 1727 and a monument to the temple’s enlargement and painting built later. The monument to the Kwangbop Temple is inscribed with a legend of nine dragons and 99 ponds on Mt Taesongguryong.

The temple is a valuable cultural heritage site showcasing the developed architecture of the Korean nation and serves as a precious material for the study of the history and culture of Korea including the Koguryo dynasty.


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