Gilsangsa Temple and the Korean Stone Art Museum: Seoul's hidden healing spots

Saturday, May 11, 2019 -
11:30am to 4:00pm
Gilsangsa temple & the Korean Stone Art Museum
W25,000 for members; W30,000 for non-members (including the museum admittance fee)
Tour Leader: 
Mr. Song-Hyon Jang

Gilsangsa Temple and the Korean Stone Art Museum:

Seoul's hidden healing spots

Meeting Point:   Exit 6 (above ground), Hansung University Station (Subway Line 4)

Founded in 1997, Gilsangsa Temple is in a quiet residential neighborhood in the Seongbuk-gu district of northern Seoul. Upon entering the One Pillar Gate(IIjumun), one can find the tranquility of a temple deep in the mountain. In the center of the temple, next to a thickly forested valley, lies the Hall of Ultimated Bliss(Geuknakjeon). The temple used to be one of the most famous restaurants in Korea, called Daewongak. Daewongak was founded in the 1960s by the late Kim Yeong-han, a former gisaeng(trained female entertainer) who, prior to the division of Korea, was the lover of renowned poet Baek Sok(Baek remained in his hometown in North Korea, and the two never saw each other again). A devout Buddhist, Kim donated her property(about 5.7 acres) to the revered Buddhist monk Ven. Beopjeong in 1987. Beopjeong turned the property into a Buddhist temple. Features of the original restaurant were kept, and the temple has a very unusual atmosphere as a result. Gilsang Seonwon(Zen Center) dedicated to meditation practice is one of the temple’s unique features. The House of Silence is a meditation room for those who wish to experience Seon(Zen) practice. The temple also has a book cafe called Dharani Dawon. Visitors can indulge in traditional tea while sitting here and soaking up the sunlight. It is also fascinating to see the bamboo leaves blowing gently in the wind, making shadows on the wall of the teahouse. Here we can have a warm cup of tea, experience and easy-going silence, speak to a Buddhist monk, take a quiet walk and enjoy vegetarian temple food for our lunch.

The Korean Stone Art Museum, located a little way above Gilsangsa temple, displays ancient-stone artifacts, traditional embroideries, and modern Korean paintings in six exhibition halls including an outdoor exhibition garden. It provides a modern interpretation of the philosophy and wisdom of the ancestors embodied in those artifacts, transcending the constricted traditional view of regarding stone sculptures as mere decorative artifacts in Buddhist temples or in tombs. We can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the exhibition halls and garden, and you will be fascinated by the panoramic view of Seoul and the natural atmosphere with a variety of stone sculptures standing among wild flowers in the garden.

The cost of this excursion is KRW 25,000 for members and 30,000 for non-members. We will meet at the top of the stairs of Exit 6, Hansung University Station. (Subway line 4) at 11:30am. From there, we will move to the temple using the shuttle bus. Upon arrival at the Gilsangsa Temple at around noon, we will enjoy simple vegetarian lunch at the temple cafeteria offered free of charge. After leisurely walk around the temple for about an hour, we go to the Korean Stone Art Museum which is only a few hundred meters away. After the museum tour, Mr. S.H. Jang, the tour guide, invites all the participants to his home for coffee (or tea). Please be on time. The excursion will finish around 4pm.

Please register your RSVP for the Gilsangsa Temple and the Korean Stone Art Museum tour, by Thursday, May 9, 2019, by click here.

                         Please register one RSVP at a time.
                 ☞Payment to be remitted to the following account:
         SHINHAN BANK ACCOUNT # 100-026-383501 (RAS-KB)



Contact Us

Royal Asiatic Society Korea Branch
Room 611, Korean Christian Building, Daehak-ro 19 (Yeonji-dong), Jongno-gu, Seoul 03129
[03129] 서울시 종로구 대학로 19 (연지동) 한국기독교회관 611호

Office is normally open as follows:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays & Saturdays:
                                   10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Wednesdays & Thursdays: 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Please call before your visit.
Phone (02) 763-9483 FAX (02) 766-3796

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