calendar>>October 4. 2008 Juche 97
Time-honored Stonework in Kaesong Area
Pyongyang, October 3 (KCNA) -- There are lots of time-honored stone sculptures in Kaesong area of the DPRK, which are illustrative of the wisdom and talent of the nation in the period of the Koryo Dynasty.

The tombs of King Kongmin, the 31st king of Koryo, and the queen lying at the foot of Mt. Pongmyong in Haeson-ri, Kaesong City, are magnificent in its architectural structure with many delicate sculptural decorations.

Embossed on the stones enclosing the tombs are twelve spirits of terrain which are so lifelike that they seem to fly in the sky on thick clouds. Excellent sculptural art can be gathered from the stone rails with graceful decorative patterns and stone staircases, a pair of stone posts in front of the tomb, an offertory table, stone lanterns and stone sheep and tigers standing alternately around the tombs.

Typical of the stone statues around the tomb of King Kongmin are statues of four civil officials on the second platform and four military officers on the third platform.

The stone human statues, about 3.3 meters high, were cut from monolithic granite. They vividly delineate their characteristic features while giving a superb rendition to the grandeur of stone sculpture with concise and clear cut.

The monument to Taegakguksa of the Ryongthong Temple in Ryonghung-dong, Kaesong City, stands on a stone sculpture of a turtle with its four legs planted sturdily on the base stone and its neck stretched forward. The image of the turtle looks dignified and the phoenix and flower patterns embossed low on the front and rear sides of the monument are appreciated to be the most beautiful among the monument decorations which had been created by that time.

The seven-storied Pagoda of the Hyonhwa Temple preserved at the Koryo Museum is large in size and grand in style. Many images of Buddha sculptured on each story of the pagoda are exquisite and lifelike.

Nine dragons writhing, entangled, are vividly sculptured at the head of the monument of the Hyonhwa Temple. No less excellent are the depiction of a gold crow and a white rabbit, representing the sun and the moon respectively, done at the upper part of the facade of the monument.

And two wriggling dragon sculptures flanking the monument remind the viewers of living dragons.

There are many other stonework of the period of Koryo in the Kaesong area, including the sculpture of a dragon head at the site of the Manwoldae Royal Palace.

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