Mary had the right guess with Korea! The building I showed is the exhibition hall from the World Culture Expo Park in Gyeongju, Korea. The central cutout shape reproduces the Hwangnyongsa Buddhist temple, which was built in the 7th century by the rulers of the Silla Kingdom. The temple itself was made entirely of wood and was 263 feet tall, and its 9 stories are said to represent the 9 surrounding kingdoms that the Silla rulers intended to capture — a plan for world domination presented in architectural form!
The Silla kingdom flourished for almost 1000 years, but the temple was burned down around 1238 by invading Mongols. At its height, the ancient city had a population of around 1 million. Gyeongju has multiple tombs and temples from the Silla kingdom, including several that have been named World Heritage Sites.
The weather was gorgeous while I was there, but unfortunately, I did not get a chance to see too much. I was busy attending a UN conference on Global Citizenship as part of the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals. I’ll post more about the conference later, but for now, here are a few pictures from Gyeongju. The shoes and crown are from the Silla period and were on display at the conference. The floor tiles would make an amazing quilt I bet!
One last picture that I thought was pretty funny. I was trying to take a picture of the Silla necklace, but found myself in the picture in the background!