I woke up around 6:45 on Saturday in order to catch the 7:45 train to Daejeon. Unfortunately, Gongju does not have a train station, so I had to take a 20 minute stroll from Daejeon train station to the intercity bus terminal. The bus from Daejeon to Gongju is a little over an hour, so I ended up doing quite a bit of traveling on Saturday. I got into to Gongju around noon and headed off to my first destination: Gongsanseong.
Gongsanseong ( 공산성 )
This is a mountain fortress that is located along the Geum river ( 금강 ) and contains many monuments and pavilions. Yeonggeun temple ( 영근사 ) is also located within the fortress. The fortress was constructed during the rule of the Baekje Kingdom and is one of the most famous Baekje fortresses. It was originally made of mud and called Unjinseong ( 운진성 ), but was later renovated with stone during the Joseon Dynasty and given its current name. So, let's head through Geumseoru Gate and start the tour!
|Geumseoru Gate Pavilion ( 공산성 금서루 ) with numerous steles in front|
|Jinnamnu Gate Pavilion ( 공산성 진남루 )|
|Inside one of the buildings at Yeongeunsa ( 영은사 )|
|Imnyugak Pavilion ( 임류각 )|
|Yeongdongnu Gate Pavilion ( 공산성 영동루 )|
|Passed this guy on the way|
|Gongsanjeong Pavilion ( 공산정 )|
Songsanri is about a 15 minute walk from Gongsanseong and is the site of 7 royal tombs from the Baekje Kingdom. The most famous of these is the tomb of King Muryeong, which was the only tomb that had not been robbed prior to discovery. It actually wasn't uncovered until 1971 when digging began for the installation of a water drainage system. King Muryeong ruled from 501 until 523 and the unearthing of his tomb provided a lot of insight into Baekje culture during the time of his reign. There were actually 4,600 objects recovered from his tomb! The site of Songsanri contains a walking path around the tombs as well as a museum that contains some of the artifacts from the tomb. Here are some of things to see:
|Mural on the wall of the No. 6 tomb|
|King's gold diadem ornaments, gold chignon ornaments, and gold earrings|
|Queen's gold diadem ornaments, gold necklaces, gold earrings, and gold and silver bracelets|
The museum is very close to the tombs and there is actually a nice walking path through the woods that takes about 10 minutes. The museum opened in 1940 and houses over 20,000 historical pieces. The museum focuses on Baekje history, but it also has artifacts uncovered from the surrounding areas that date to other periods in Korean history. The museum has an outdoor collection and a two-floor permanent exhibition. The first floor is dedicated to the tomb of King Muryeong and the second floor has galleries dedicated to the Prehistoric era, Baekje, and Unified Silla.
|Gongju National Museum and the outdoor gallery|
|Silver cup with bronze stand|
|Stone Seated Buddha|