, located near Danyang
, South Korea
, is the headquarters of the Korean Cheontae
sect of Buddhism
. Although the architecture of Guinsa follows that of many other Buddhist temples
in Korea, it is also markedly different in that the structures are several stories tall, instead of the typical one or two stories that structures in many other Korean temples have. This may be due to the restraints of the valley in which it is located and to modern construction techniques, but it creates a visual experience that is both beautiful and unique from what one sees at other temples.
Unlike many of Korea's temples, Guinsa is fairly new, dating only back to 1945. The temple is strikingly located, squeezed into a narrow valley surrounded on all sides by mountains, and its location was decreed by head monk Sangwol Wongak's (上月圓覺) interpretation of the Lotus Sutra
. The original was burned down during the Korean War, but the reconstruction of the first building was completed in 1966 and the complex, which now incorporates over 50 buildings, is still expanding.
Notable structures include:
- The Four Heavenly Kings Gate (사천왕문 Sacheonwangmun), containing statues of the Four Heavenly Kings, which marks the start of the temple proper.
- The 5-Story Law Hall (5층대법당 Ocheung Daebeoptang), reputedly one of the largest temple buildings in Korea, containing a large gilded main altar of the Buddha Shakyamuni flanked by his attendants.
- The Great Teacher Hall (대조사전 Daejosajeon), a shrine erected in the memory of Sangwol Wongak, a large statue of whom can be found inside.