Go to contents

Secret of Seokgatap that stands firm after earthquake

Posted July. 19, 2017 07:25,   

Updated July. 19, 2017 07:33


A book that records the restoration process of Seokgatap, three-storied stone pagoda of Bulguksa, and its result was published. The National Research Institute of Cultural Heritage announced on Tuesday that it released a report on Gyeongju Bulguksa Seokgatap restoration (Vol. 1 and 2). The book contains the restoration process, which started in 2010 when the Cultural Properties Committee decided to dismantle the pagoda, and inspection on damages incurred by earthquake in 2016. Seokgatap stood still in the middle of earthquake.

Cultural assets in Gyeongju suffered damages when a 5.8-magnitude quake hit the city in September last year. As for Bulguksa, staircase of Dabotap collapsed and roof of Daeungjeon hall was partially damaged. However, Seokgatap remained intact. Its tilting and central axis stood still in the midst of earthquake as natural stone materials and construction method of filling gaps with tamped soil reduced fluctuations. Low center of gravity of the pagoda was another reason to withstand the earthquake.

The committee determined to dismantle the pagoda entirely as cracks of 132 centimeters in length and 0.5 centimeter in width were found in its cover stone during the 2010 regular inspection. The research inside installed a temporary frame for reconstruction and began the dismantlement process in 2012 and completed the restoration and maintenance activities in 2016.  


 The report can be used as a technical reference that presents methods for restoration of stone cultural properties. The Cultural Heritage Administration plans to distribute the report to major libraries and research institutes nationwide for public access and you can also find it at www.nrich.go.kr.

Min Kim kimmin@donga.com