Temple is the branch temple of Bongseonsa Temple, the 25th temple
of Korea’s Jogye Order. It is administered by Sinjeom-ri
of Yongmun-myeon and is the greatest among the temples in Mt. Yongmun.
There are two stories regarding the foundation of Yongmunsa
Temple. One says that it was founded by Great Priest Wonhyo
in the 3rd year of the reign of Queen Jindeok (649) and reconstructed
by Priest Doseon in the 6th year of the reign of Queen Jinseong
(892), and the other says that King Gyeongsun came to this place
to found the temple himself.
Jo, Ahn reconstructed Yongmunsa Temple in the 4th year of the
reign of Joseon King Taejo (1395), but every building was burned
during the Battle of Loyal Army in 1907. Priest Taeuk reestablished
the temple in 1938, but only Daeungjeon (Main Building) and Gwaneumjeon
(large room) survived the Battle of Mt. Yongmun during the Korean
War. The temple was reconstructed in 1958 to take its current form.
The bell pavilion, Jijangjeon building, and Iljumun Gate were
added in 1983. In 1994, Jijangjeon building was rebuilt and
Daeungjeon was repaired.
Daeungjeon building is a wooden building with three front units,
three side units, and gable roofing. Inside the building,
three stone Buddhas are placed on the main wall and 1,000 Buddhas
are arranged along the remaining three walls. Gwaneumjeon
building is an L-shaped building. Half of the building is
a cell with a Buddha and a Buddhist painting and the other half
is a dormitory for the monks. The Buddha is a wooden statue
from the early Joseon Dynasty. It is wearing a corolla and
accessories around the neck and arms. It is a very elaborate
creation, but was recently painted again because its colors had
faded. Jijangjeon building is also a wooden building with
three front units, three side units, and gable roofing. The
building enshrines three Ksitigarbha with a relevant painting on
the back wall, and the two side walls have Siwangtaeng (painting
of dead people being judged by the king of the underworld) and Sajataeng
(painting of Buddhist servants). Samseonggak building is a
wooden building with three front units, one side unit, and gable
roofing and has three styles of Buddhist paintings (Chilseong, Dokseong,
and Sanshin) inside.
National Priest Jeongji’s
Sarira Tower is located about 300m to the east of the temple and
National Priest Jeongji’s Pagoda is about 80m away from the tower.
The Sarira Tower and the Pagoda are designated as Treasure
No. 531 together. There is an old gingko tree inside Yongmunsa Temple’s
property and it is told to have been planted by Royal Prince Maui.
The gingko tree is believed to be over 1,100 years old. It
is a large tree of about 60m in height and its stem is over 14m
in girth at chest height. This is the largest gingko tree
in Asia and is preserved as Natural Preservation No. 30.