Sangdangsanseung FortressCheongju Early Printing Museum
After the Kingdom of Silla had fully taken Cheongju region as its territory, Cheongju was assigned as one of five ‘Sokyung (i.e., small capital)’ and named Seowon Sokyung in 685. The area seems to mostly overlap with the jurisdiction of Cheongju-Mok of the Chosun Dynasty.
Sinbong-dongCheongju Early Printing Museum
Baekje, one of three states of the Three Kingdom Period, was established in the late 3rd century near the Han River and gradually expanded its power. The grand scale of tombs found in Bongmyung-dong and Sinbong-dong show the influence of Baekje back then.
Cheongju History OverviewCheongju Early Printing Museum
Brief Overview of Cheongju History
Baekje occupies CheongjuCheongju Early Printing Museum
Baekje’s advancement to Cheongju
The impact of Baekje and shilla on the Eastwest area of ChoengjuCheongju Early Printing Museum
Influence of Baekje and Silla found in the east and west areas of Cheongju
Stone Buddha Triad and Stone Standing Buddha in Bijung-ri, Cheongju. (501/600)Cheongju Early Printing Museum
The stone Buddha statues in the Bijoong-ri, Naesu-eup of Cheongwon-gu area shows how Buddhism was first introduced to Cheongju region during the Three Kingdom Period. It is considered to be closely related to southern expansion of Kingdom Goguryeo.
Cheognju, the hub of Shilla
After a fierce battle between Baekje and Silla, the Cheongju region became part of Silla’s territory. Later the Three Kingdoms were unified and opened an era of Unified Kingdom of Silla.
SeowonsogyeongCheongju Early Printing Museum
The Unified Kingdom of Silla set up Seowon Sokyung in Cheongju, making it a hub to connect Chungcheong-do and Gyungki-do. Nobility from Gyeongju moved to Seowon Sokyung and laid the groundwork for high culture to blossom in Seowon Sokyung.
Village document of SillaCheongju Early Printing Museum
Village document of Silla
The village document of Silla shows details about Seowon Sokyung including the name of the village, parameters, population, and the number of cows and horses in the village. It provides good information on how Cheongju looked like back then.
Records of SeowongyeongCheongju Early Printing Museum
Records on Seowonkyung
Uncheon-dong Silla Stele which was discovered in Uncheon-dong in 1982. Bsed on the letters remaining on the stone slab, the slab is preseumed to have been a stele inscribed with the chronology of a temple in the Cheongju region in Unified Silla period.
Uncheongdong SteleCheongju Early Printing Museum
Uncheon-dong Silla Stele
The Buddhist heritages from Seowon Sokyung are mostly clustered in two locations of present Uncheong-dong and Mountain U-am-san in Cheongju and directly reflect the ‘Central Style’ of Silla.
Cultural heritage representing Cheongju’s Buddhist culture of the Unified Silla age
The History of Buddhist Rites in Central CheongjuCheongju Early Printing Museum
Introduction of Buddhist Style in Central Cheongju
Buddhist remains of the Goryeo Dynasty discovered in the outskirts of Cheongju
Iron flagpole at Yongdusa Temple site (962)Cheongju Early Printing Museum
Cheongju, the heart of Goryeo’s culture (928-1392 A.D.)
According to reorganization during early Goryeo Dynasty with the introduction of the ‘Gun Hyun System’, Cheongju received the region the name ‘Cheongju’ for the first time in 940 A.D.
From the records found in the Iron Flgpole at Youndusa Temple Site erected in 962, we can get a glimpse of how the local muncipalities functioned and the existence of the indigenous Sung family who had its power base in the local community.
Iron flagpole at Yongdusa Temple site (966)Cheongju Early Printing Museum
As Buddism flourished during Goryeo Dynasty, many Buddhist heritages remain across the whole Cheongju area. These Buddhist heritages from Goryeo Dynasty carried Cheongju’s distinct characteristics from early on.
Yongdusa Temple, which is one of such heritages that represents early Goryeo Dynasty, was re-built in the downtown area of Cheongju by the hojok, the local power elites.
The Ifon Flagpole at Yongdusa Temple SiteCheongju Early Printing Museum
Iron flagpole of Yongdusa Temple site, Cheongju
Mangseollu PavilionCheongju Early Printing Museum
With the new local governance system Gyesukwan introduced in 1018, Cheongju was renamed ‘Cheongju Mok’ and oversaw six municipalities along with 50 sokhyuns where officials were not dispatched from the central government. This illustrates that Cheongju was a large municipality.
Cheongjumok GyesugwanCheongju Early Printing Museum
Gyesukwan (head of county) of Cheongjumok
Geukrakbojeon Hall of Bosalsa Temple, Cheongju (1683년(숙종9) 중수)Cheongju Early Printing Museum
Several small and large temples were built in various places of Cheongju during Goryeo Dynasty. Through the temples that remain to present date and verification of historical records, it can be posited that Buddhist culture flourished in Cheongju.
While most Buddhist temples were demolished after Goryeo Dynasty, some including Bosal Temple and Ansim Temple remain through the present day carrying on the legacy of Buddism.
Buddhist remains at Cheongju Bosalsa Temple built in Goryeo Dynasty.
Resources: Cheongju Early Printing Museum, Cheongju University Museum, Chungbuk University Museum and Cheongju National Musuem
* This online exhibition is created for Jikji Festival in 2022.