Haeinsa Temple and Koreana Tripitaka – UNESCO World Heritage Site

Haeinsa Temple and Koreana Tripitaka – UNESCO World Heritage Site


Hey everyone, welcome to World Heritage Journey. Today, we’re at Haeinsa Temple, home to the
Tripitaka Koreana, in South Korea. Haeinsa Temple is a beautiful spot, located
in the remote mountains in the south of Korea. It’s the largest and most important Buddhist
monastery and temple in South Korea, but it’s on the World Heritage List because of an incredible
Buddhist relic: the Koreana Tripitaka. Let’s have a closer look. Haeinsa Temple was founded in the 9th century,
tucked away in a remote corner of Korea, surrounded by beautiful mountains and cascading streams. Home to several hundred monks, it’s still
the country’s busiest Buddhist shrine. But on an elevated plateau at the back of
the temple stands its real treasure: the Koreana Tripitaka, and its purpose-built storage facility. The Koreana Tripitaka is a Korean version
of the Tripitaka, the Buddhist scriptures, inscribed onto woodblocks in the 13th century. It’s a staggering piece of work: there’s over
81,000 separate woodblocks, containing over 52 million characters. They are all neatly organised into titles
and volumes, making it one of the most extraordinary written records anywhere on the planet. The four buildings housing the Tripitaka are
also impressive. Designed specifically to hold the woodblocks,
they feature unusual window patterns to allow airflow, while the flooring inside prevents
moisture and humidity damaging the wood. The woodblocks are also packed tightly together
to stop insects and spiders getting in. Although the woodblocks themselves are heavily
guarded, we were allowed to stay overnight at the temple, meditating, praying, and eating
with the monks. We even got to do our own bit of woodblock
printing! What a fantastic spot.

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