Image Cultural Heritage
- This five-story stone pagoda, one of the twin pagodas, is located in the west in front of the main sanctuary of Hwaeomsa Temple. While the eastern pagoda has no sculptures, the western one is full of decoration and sculptures. This pagoda consists of the two-tier stylobate and the five-story main body. Engraved on each facet of the lower stylobate are panel decorations wherein the statues of twelve zodiacal animal deities were placed in each direction. Carved at the corners and center of the facet of the upper stylobate is a pole pattern, so the facet is divided by two. Standing statues of the Eight Guardian Warriors are carved by dividing into two facets. Each of the core stones and roof stones is composed of one stone, and the core stone for each story has small pole patterns at each corner. Carved and placed on the four facets of the core stone for the first floor are standing statues of the Four Guardian Kings. The roof stone is furnished with a five-step cornice at each story, and the eaves are horizontal. The top ornament has a two-layer prop; on top of that is a splendid bead shaped like a lotus bud. The pagoda has a form that gives a dignified impression, showing the light technique of the roof stone and the well-balanced decreasing ratio from top to bottom. In particular, it is a rare case of having the lower stylobate sculpted with twelve zodiacal animal deities in stone pagodas. The carvings shown in the upper and lower stylobates and the core stone at the first floor were carefully arranged. Especially, the engravings of twelve zodiacal animal deities and the Eight Guardian Warriors and the Four Guardian Kings, which all have the function of guardian spirit in Buddhism, were intended to protect the sarira enshrined in the pagoda. Judging from the carvings and the flexible construction of the roof stones, the pagoda is believed to have been built around the 9th century of the late Silla Era. Standing south of the pagoda is the salutation stone with engravings of panel decoration designs on the side and lotus flower on the upper side. East Five-story Stone Pagoda of Hwaeomsa Temple, Gurye When entering the yard of Hwaeomsa Temple, one faces the main sanctuary of the temple. Standing in front of the hall are twin pagodas from east to west. This pagoda, which stands in the east, is similar in size but unadorned and is simple and neat. On the other hand, the western pagoda has beautiful decoration and sculpture. In terms of the composition of the bases, the western pagoda is a two-story structure, whereas the eastern pagoda has only one story. The lowest base of the eastern pagoda is composed of several stone plates, with the base stone having an inner pillar sculpted on each facet. In the body section, the main stone in the first floor, which is wide compared with the total height of the pagoda, appears stable, and the decreasing ratio of the width of the main stones is quite considerable. Note, however, that the level is low, so it looks slender. The roof stone is very flat and thin, and the decreasing ratio of the width like the main stones is also high. There is a very big difference between the first floor and the second floor. The top of the pagoda has the base of stupa finial and the "Bokbal (over-turned bowl)" to support the head decoration; above them is a splendid bead between the pillars. This is considered a work made around the 9th century similar to the western pagoda since the base is a one-story structure compared with the two-story bases of the Silla Era; the base also has a loose stone composition.