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Unjusa Temple Circle Multistoried Pagoda

Unjusa Temple Circle Multistoried Pagoda
  • Designation No. : National Treasure No. 798 (1984. 11. 26)
  • Size : Height 5.58m
  • Production year : Koryo Dynasty
  • Management agent : Unjusa Temple
  • Address
  • 43 Yonggang-ri, Doam-myeon, Hwasun-gun, Jeollanam-do

This is a pagoda located in the northern bound of Stone Buddha and Shrine and is a precious inheritance showing a special type of Korean pagodas. All parts of this pagoda from foundation stones, stylobate, tower body and Okgaesuk are round. However, only the stone in the middle of stylobate is decagonal and this decagon is like a circle. These are the reason that people named this pagoda as circular multistoried pagoda.
The stones used for this pagoda are: one sheet of stone for circular foundation stone; 5 sheets of stone for the middle part of stylobate; and 1 sheet of stone for Gabsuk of stylobate, tower body and Okgaesuk. This pagoda consists of : high circular foundation is carved on circular foundation stone and the middle of stylobate is made of 5 decagonal sheets of stone above which Gabsuk is placed. On the underside and sides of the pagoda, lotus pattern of both form is thinly carved. The top of Gabsuk supports the part of tower body without special equipments.
Tower body on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd stories are divided into three parts and two horizontal lines are carved around and one line is carved horizontally for the 4th, 5th and 6th stories. Circular Okgaesuk of each story is shortened smoothly as it goes up to the top and it shows a kind of shape like the top ring of stupa. As for Okgaesuk, two lines are carved in a form of circle in the underside of Okgae on the first story. while only one line is carved on the other stories. This line is a dugout like a groove of a paper sliding door shown in the Silla -type towers and it can be comparative. This pagoda is eccentric in terms of its composition and overall appearance and a number of this type of pagoda showed in Koryo Dynasty.
This pagoda has to be one of the greatest ones among special-shaped stone pagodas and shows well the features of those produced in Koryo Dynasty.
The top of Gabsuk of stylobate is flat and its sides are round, while Okgaesuk is composed reversely: its underside is flat and its sides are round. It is not clear that this was intended to make the pagoda balanced and stabled or they were simply reversed.
However, if the top of Okgaesuk were flat, there would never be balanced between the top and the bottom, which would make the pagoda unstable. Currently, only the parts up to the 6th story remains and we have no clue about how many stories this pagoda had.
It is also noticeable that the size and form of Okgaesukk are different compared to the top circle. In a common sense, the thickness of Okgaesuk has to be reduced as the width of it is reduced. However, Okgaesuk at the 2nd and 3rd stories are thicker than the one at the first story and this makes the pagoda unbalanced. While this pagoda was designated as a local tangible cultural property but its status was rose to a national treasure in 1984.