2 Canadians in Korea

Welcome to our blog. It's designed to give people back home an idea of what it's like living in South Korea and to allow you to follow us on our journey.

I've been blogging a lot of facts and I feel I should say that some of it is copy pasted from books, the internet and the signs that I took pictures of at the tourist site itself.

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Divine Bell of Great King Songdok

The bronze bell, nicknamed Emille Bell, is housed in a pavillion on the grounds of the Kyongju National Museum. The bell is 3.33 meters high and the diameter of its mouth is 2.27 meters. Known as the most outstanding bell in Asia, it is also the biggest one in Korea. King Kyongdok had a giant bell cast with 120,000 kun of copper to be dedicated to his deceased father, King Songdok. However, the bell was completed in 771 during the reign of King Hyegong. The bell holds a dragon-shaped hook that suspends it. the sound of the bell is exceptionally magnificent. The bell's body is decoreated with heavenly figures, floral designs and an inscription showing details about the casting of the bell.


I got the details from a guide book I bought, what it doesn't say is how it was built which we got to see at the museum. The mold was made below ground and the fire melting the copper was above it. There was an intricate system that allowed the melting copper to pour properly into the mold. It was first made of bronze but it didn't work out since it was full of cracks and didn't sound good. The second attempt is what resulted in the bell you see here. We didn't get to hear the actual sound of the bell but it is said that it could be heard over a 3km radius when struck only lightly with a fist but you are not allowed to test this claim. Regardless, the bell is extremely famous in Korea and small versions of it can be found in just about any souveneir shop right next to all the buddhas.

3 comments:

Caroline said...

why are you guys so serious in this picture? lol neat historical posts, thx for sharing!

Pierre & Angèle said...

We are serious because we are visiting a serious site. At least I think that's why we did it?

Akos said...

Ákos: Thanks for the article. It solved a mistery for me. Few weaks ago a korean delegation came to me and I was given a small replica of that, but I didn't know what it was. It sounds nice: not so majestically but good for calling to dinner.