Gyeongju

This city is known as an ‘outdoor museum’, for good reason. Everywhere you look there are ancient buildings, Buddha statues, old temples and, best of all, giant mounds called ‘tumuli’ in which are buried the bones of ancient kings. Most tumuli are just huge, bare, grassy hills, but one in particular draws me again and again. This tomb of a 1300-years-dead king has about six trees on it – Tim Burtony, craggy trees.

This city is known as an ‘outdoor museum’, for good reason. Everywhere you look there are ancient buildings, Buddha statues, old temples and, best of all, giant mounds called ‘tumuli’ in which are buried the bones of ancient kings. Most tumuli are just huge, bare, grassy hills, but one in particular draws me again and again. This tomb of a 1300-years-dead king has about six trees on it – Tim Burtony, craggy trees.

These trees have a magnetic pull for me, not least because, by some weird alchemy, their personalities actually come across on film. They have all the qualities that you might associate with kingliness, at least the fictional variety. They exude strength, patience, amusement and bemusement, integrity, warmth, sagacity, long-sightedness, and yet some humility. While all the trees on that tumuli have those qualities, as though they had sucked them out of the marrow of the bones below their roots, they each have an individual character. Lomo sees it, and loves them, in every season.

www.gyeongju.go.kr/eng/main/index.asp

2008-05-09 #places #mountain #culture #trees #statue #location #architecture #gyeongju

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