Depiction of 구례 연곡사 북 승탑

If pagodas serve the function of enshrining the sarira (sacred remains after cremation) of the Buddha, stupa shelters those of great Buddhist monks. Pagodas and stupa both take on the same structure: the body, with the final on its top, stands on the foundation. This stupa is located on the mid-slope of a mountain lying to the north of Yeongoksa Temple. The octagonal stupa stands on a platform comprising square stones. The temple had been famous for Zen practice and producing renowned monks until the early Goryeo period. For this reason, the temple has two other beautiful stupas: the East Stupa (National Treasure No. 53) and the West Stupa (Treasure No. 154). This stupa is almost similar in shape and size to the east one which is deemed the most beautiful of the three stupas. The stupa has a three-tier foundation. The lower foundation is divided into two portions. The bottom portion is carved with cloud designs; the upper portion is engraved with 16 double lotus petals. The upper foundation is also divided into two portions. Railings and lotus flowers are carved on the upper and lower portion, respectively. Of special note is the Kalavinka (an imaginary creature mentioned in the Buddhist scripts. It has a human head and a bird's body) carved in relief on the upper portion. On each side of the octagonal body, or reliquary are engraved an incense burner and Lokapata, or the Four Guardian Kings. Like the east one, this stupa also has a furrowed roof stone on which rafters and roof-end tiles are engraved. Four widespread-winged phoenixes and lotus flowers are carved on the final made of stone. As there is no stele left for the stupa, it is not known for whom this stupa is erected. It is just called Bukbudo, or the North Stupa, taking the name from its location. While the east one was built in the late Unified Silla period, this stupa is believed to have been erected in the early Goryeo period. This stupa is representative of octagonal stupas of the period.

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  • 국보 제54호
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  • If pagodas serve the function of enshrining the sarira (sacred remains after cremation) of the Buddha, stupa shelters those of great Buddhist monks. Pagodas and stupa both take on the same structure: the body, with the final on its top, stands on the foundation. This stupa is located on the mid-slope of a mountain lying to the north of Yeongoksa Temple. The octagonal stupa stands on a platform comprising square stones. The temple had been famous for Zen practice and producing renowned monks until the early Goryeo period. For this reason, the temple has two other beautiful stupas: the East Stupa (National Treasure No. 53) and the West Stupa (Treasure No. 154). This stupa is almost similar in shape and size to the east one which is deemed the most beautiful of the three stupas. The stupa has a three-tier foundation. The lower foundation is divided into two portions. The bottom portion is carved with cloud designs; the upper portion is engraved with 16 double lotus petals. The upper foundation is also divided into two portions. Railings and lotus flowers are carved on the upper and lower portion, respectively. Of special note is the Kalavinka (an imaginary creature mentioned in the Buddhist scripts. It has a human head and a bird's body) carved in relief on the upper portion. On each side of the octagonal body, or reliquary are engraved an incense burner and Lokapata, or the Four Guardian Kings. Like the east one, this stupa also has a furrowed roof stone on which rafters and roof-end tiles are engraved. Four widespread-winged phoenixes and lotus flowers are carved on the final made of stone. As there is no stele left for the stupa, it is not known for whom this stupa is erected. It is just called Bukbudo, or the North Stupa, taking the name from its location. While the east one was built in the late Unified Silla period, this stupa is believed to have been erected in the early Goryeo period. This stupa is representative of octagonal stupas of the period. (en)
  • 부처님의 사리를 모시는 곳이 탑이라면, 수행이 높았던 스님의 사리를 두는 곳이 승탑이다. 구성은 석탑과 비슷해서, 기단(基壇) 위에 사리를 모시는 탑신(塔身)을 두고 그 위에 머리장식을 얹게 된다. 이 승탑은 연곡사 내의 북쪽 산 중턱에 네모나게 둔 바닥돌 위로 세워져 있으며, 전체적으로 8각형을 기본으로 하고 있다. 연곡사는 고려 초까지 스님들이 선(禪)을 닦는 절로 이름이 높았는데, 이 때문인지 이 곳에는 북 승탑 외에도 구례 연곡사 동 승탑(국보 제53호), 구례 연곡사 소요대사탑(보물 제154호) 등이 더 모셔져 있다. 북 승탑은 그 중에서 가장 형태가 아름다운 동 승탑을 본떠 건립한 것으로 보이는데, 크기와 형태는 거의 같고, 단지 세부적인 꾸밈에서만 약간의 차이가 있다. 기단은 세 층으로 아래받침돌, 가운데받침돌, 윗받침돌을 올렸다. 아래받침돌은 2단으로, 아래에는 구름무늬를, 위에는 두 겹으로 된 16잎의 연꽃무늬를 각각 새겨두었다. 윗받침돌 역시 두 단으로 나누어 연꽃과 돌난간을 아래위로 꾸몄다. 특히 윗단에는 둥근 테를 두르고, 그 속에 불교의 낙원에 산다는 극락조인 가릉빈가(伽陵頻迦)를 돋을새김해 두었다. 탑신의 몸돌은 각 면에 향로와 불법을 수호하는 방위신인 4천왕상(四天王像) 등을 꾸며놓았다. 지붕돌에는 서까래와 기와의 골을 새겼는데, 동 승탑과 마찬가지로 기와 끝에 막새기와의 모양을 새겨두었다. 머리장식으로는 날개를 활짝 편 네 마리의 봉황과 연꽃무늬를 새긴 돌이 온전하게 남아있다. 승탑에 기록이 남아 있지 않아 어떤 스님을 기리기 위한 것인지 알 수 없어 ‘북 승탑’이라고만 부르고 있다. 동 승탑이 통일신라시대 후기에 만들어진 반면에 북 승탑은 그 후인 고려 전기에 건립된 것으로 보이며, 8각형 승탑을 대표할 만한 훌륭한 작품이다.
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  • North Stupa of Yeongoksa (en)
  • 求禮 鷰谷寺 北 僧塔
  • 구례 연곡사 북 승탑 (ko)
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