While Rome was busy trying to keep control of its empire, the Korean peninsula was in the process of solidifying its power blocks.
The period called the three kingdoms is when some unification of the peninsula started taking place. Shilla kingdom was located in the southeast of the peninsula, where present day Busan City and area is. Baekje was in the southwest, where present day Jeolla province is. Goguryeo was in the north area.
Shilla(57 B.c. – 935A.D.)
Baekje (18 B.C – 660 A.D.)
Goguryeo (37 B.C. – 668 A.D.)
The Kaya kingdom was formed later than the others from 42 A.D. and remained until 562 when Shilla swallowed it up. Spelling differences in the names are due to the romanisation of the Korean names. When Shilla annexed the Kaya/Gaya kingdom, Baekje and Goguryeo responded by allying together. Shilla then countered with a unification with the Tang Dynasty in China. That tipped the scales and Shilla then united the southern parts of Korea and the north passed into the Balhae era, so that there was a north/south delineation.
This map shows the geographical boundaries of the two kingdoms around 830 A.D. Balhae extended far into Manchuria and Russia until China rose up and took back some of the land.
The Unified Shilla Kingdom remained from 676 until 935 and Balhae Kingdom was in existence about the same time period. Obviously the south of the peninsula is very proud of their Shilla Dynasty roots. The capital of the Kingdom was Gyongju. It was the capital of the Shilla Dynasty for 1000 years. They call the whole city a ‘museum without walls’ as there are Kings tombs scattered throughout the area. It is designated as a World Heritage Site.
It was during the Shilla dynasty that Buddhism became the official religion for the Kingdom.
Bulguk sa (temple) in fall
Bul guk sa (Sa means temple)
The temple of Bul Guk is the most famous temple of Kyong ju. It has a Unesco Heritage Treasure designation.
Korea’s biggest bell
A huge bronze bell is displayed near the Kyong-ju National Museum. It is one of Korea’s National Treasures.
Here we are by Bomun Lake Resort.
The Bomun Lake Resort is an international tourist destination. There are five super-deluxe hotels, a golf course, an amusement park, a hot spring, museums, and lots of shopping.
Us in front of the Cheomseongdae Observatory
This observatory is the oldest existing astronomical observatory in Asia. It was constructed about 632-647 and was used for observing the stars and forecasting the weather. It is one of Korea’s National Treasures.
That’s my short history for the Shilla Dynasty in Korea. I recommend seeing this city when you come to Korea. Koreans, especially those in the Kyung Sang province, are very proud of their Shilla Dynasty.