Korea's history in the 3rd-7th centuries is known as the Three Kingdoms Period. Buddhism, art, architecture, and literature all flourished during this era in the Koguryo, Shilla, and Paekche Kingdoms (respectively located in the north, southeast, and southwest, basically).

The city of Puyeo was the third and last capital of the Paekche Kingdom, from 538 AD to 660 AD, when Shilla Kingdom forces (with the help of the Chinese Tang dynasty) took over. Today, Puyeo houses an excellent national musuem of Paekche artifacts, the scant remains of the Paekche kings' palace and fortress, a beautiful riverside sculpture park, and more.

The city is just an hour-and-a-quarter by bus from Taejon, so we made a day trip there to see the sights and take these pictures. Click on any of the small images to view a larger version, then hit the "back" button on your browser to return to this page.

A tranquil stone Buddha among trees and flowers outside the Puyeo National Museum.
We found some dancing drummers (and the guy playing that bugle-like thing) outside the museum after we'd passed through the exhibits.
Cheris took a rest with three more stone Buddhas on the museum grounds.

Next, we headed over to Cheongnimsa, an old temple site in the middle of town. The temple itself is gone, but this five-story stone pagoda behind Cheris has remained since the Paekche period.
Here's a picture-of-a-picture of the unusual seated stone Buddha at Cheongnimsa that we didn't get to see (they were rebuilding the structure around it).

The next stop was Pusosan, a hill that once housed the Paekche royal palace and fortress. Not much is left there today, but to the right you can see the famous Naghwa'am cliffs, where 3000 Paekche court ladies are said to have jumped to their deaths to avoid capture by the invading Shilla and Chinese armies. To the right of that, a cool door handle from a pavillion at Pusosan.

We hiked down to the bottom of the Naghwa'am cliffs and caught a ferry along the Paengma River. We were dropped off at a great sculpture park.

Last stop: Kungnamji, a tranquil pond with a little pavillion on an island in the center. It was left to rot after the Shilla takeover and restored to its present condition just a few years ago. It's a beautiful place to take a little stroll just after sunset, so that's exactly what we did.

take me back to the index