The Korea Herald


Bongeun Temple plans renovation for tourism

By 배지숙

Published : June 10, 2011 - 19:04

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The Bongeun Temple of the Jogye Order, in the affluent Gangnam area in southern Seoul, will be transformed into a history-themed park, Seoul officials said Friday.

According to Gangnam-gu Office, the temple has recently filed for the re-designation as a history park from its current status as a neighborhood park, a move aimed at attracting foreign visitors who want to see Korean Zen culture. The Seoul Metropolitan Government is now reviewing the request as well as a relevant redevelopment.

Under the plan, the temple will build a two-storey guesthouse to allow a templestay program for foreign tourists. Several small buildings will be torn down and a large prayer building and parking lot will be built.

In order to show the historical side of the temple to the public, the operators will restore a large pathway to Daewungjeon, the main sanctuary. Iljumun (main entrance gate) and Haetalmun (the last gate into the chapel) and some other traditional installments will be established in the middle.

“Before, the temple was banned from large scale construction due to its function as neighborhood park, which gave many of its temporary constructions ― including toilets and parking lots ― illegal status. The shift of function will also legalize them,” a Gangnam official said.

By Bae Ji-sook (