Korea's southeastern area is the richest in terms of tourist attractions. The major cities of this area and the sites of the splendid ancient Shilla Kingdom (57B.C.- 935A.D.) are Kyongju, Pusan, and Taegu.
One of Korea's best known temples, Pulguksa, is a monument to both the skill of the Shilla architects and the depth of Buddhist faith at that time. While most of the wooden buildings have been rebuilt over the centuries, all the stone bridges, stairways and pagodas are original. The temple, originally built in 535A.D., was enlarged in 751A.D. Located on the western slope of Mt. T'ohamsan, the Pulguksa Temple was added to the UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1995.
Dating back to the same era as Pulguksa Temple, Sokkuram Grotto is one of Asia's finest Buddhist shrines. Surrounded by Bodhisattvas and guardian deities, the serene central statue of Buddha gazes out over the forested hills and across the East Sea to the horizon. The building of the granite dome of Sokkuram was a truly amazing architectural feat. Sokkuram Grotto was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1995. Today, to protect the treasures, a glass wall prevents visitors from actually entering the grotto.
Kyongju was the capital of the Shilla Kingdom (57 B.C.-935A.D.) for a thousand years. The royal tombs, pagodas, statues, temples, and other historical ruins that dot the city and its surrounding hills all bear witness to the grandeur of the Shilla culture and have given Kyongju its name, the "Museum without Walls". UNESCO designated it as one of the world's ten most historically significant sights.
Taegu is the third largest city in Korea. A transportation center, Taegu is located between Seoul and Pusan. As with Kyongju, Taegu is also rich in culture, and historical relics are found in abundance.
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