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Tracing the relics of Baekje from Iksan-si in Jeollabuk-do, and Buyeo-gun and Gongju-si in Chungcheongnam-do, one can catch a glimpse of the ancient treasures of the Baekje history, one of Korea’s ancient kingdoms. The glamorous yet not too extravagant palaces and temple sites at Baekje Historic Areas bring to life the most flourishing times of Baekje and have become a fascinating tourist destination.
Baekje Historic Areas have garnered international recognition for being central to trade and cultural exchange through areas of the East Asia countries including China and Japan. The area constitutes eight important cultural heritage sites that spread across the neighboring cities of Gongju, Buyeo and Iksan. They are made up of two sites in Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do ( Gongsanseong Fortress, Songsan-ri Tombs and Royal Tomb of King Muryeong), four sites in Buyeo, Chungcheongnam-do ( Gwanbuk-ri Relics and Busosanseong Fortress of Buyeo, Buyeo Neungsan-ri Ancient Tombs, Jeongnimsaji Temple Site, Buyeo Naseong Fortress), and two sites in Iksan of Jeollabuk-do ( Iksan Wanggungni Historic Site, Mireuksaji Temple Site).
Gongju Gongsanseong Fortress was called Ungjinseong Fortress in the Baekje Era and later became known as Gongsanseong after the Goryeo Dynasty. The fortress stretches from Gongsan Moutain's summit to a smaller peak to the west. Gongsanseong Fortress not only has historical value but also a stunning night view that had drawn many tourists wishing to capture the beautiful nightscape.
The Royal Tomb of King Muryeong is the tomb of the 25th king of Baekje and his queen. It is a rare occasion for the identiy of the ancient tomb's occupant to be revealed. The tomb had remained perfectly intact and unrobbed with over 4,600 artifacts unearthed, which held great historical value and became added assets to the ancient art history studies.
Busosanseong Fortress, which used to be called Sabiseong, was the capital of Baekje for 123 years before the kingdom was overthrown. The fortress is known for Nakhwaam Rock, which literally means “Rock of Falling Flowers,” a rock cliff where 3,000 ladies of the court jumped to their deaths at the downfall of their kingdom.
Mireuksaji is the site of the largest temple in the history of Baekje, which was famous for its pagoda and the Dangganjiju flagpole support. Mireuksaji Seoktap Pagoda is the oldest and the largest stone pagoda in Korea. The east tower of the pagoda was restored in 1992 and restoration of the west tower was completed in 2018. In particular, the Dangganjiju of Mireuksaji is held as a great cultural heritage for being well preserved.