"Historical gem" and "Museum without walls".
Once the capital of the ancient kingdom of Silla,… the city of Gyeongju in Gyeongsangbuk-do Province is full of well-preserved historical sites.
This year, the UNESCO world heritage site has been chosen as one of the world's best places to visit by TIME Magazine,… and these are the highlights from the open-air museum.
The oldest astronomical observatory in Asia stands in the middle of Dongbu Historic Area where lots of relics are still being excavated.
Built during the seventh century, the observatory shows how scientifically advanced the Silla kingdom was.
"On the slopes of Tohamsan Mountain lies the Bulguksa Temple, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995. The name 'Bulguksa' means the 'land of Buddha', and all the relics and the architecture of these bridges attest to the flowering of Buddhist art and culture here."
Only enlightened people can walk up and down the Yeonhwagyo and Chilbogyo Bridges, while the Cheongungyo and Baegungyo Bridges connect this world with Buddha's world above.
The Dabotap and Seokgatap pagodas in front of the main hall show the high quality of stonework during the Silla period.
And a tourist spot that has been growing in popularity recently is Woljeonggyo Bridge.
"Originally built in the year 760, the Woljeonggyo Bridge was destroyed during the Joseon Era, and only it's pillars were left. From 2008, the bridge was completely rebuilt over the course of ten years."
In the daylight, visitors can see the Silla kingdom's architecture and construction technologies, but the bridge is more famous for its dazzling night view.
The illuminated dancheong the Korean traditional decorative coloring on wooden buildings is reflected on the water, making it the perfect photo spot for visitors.
Last but not least, is the Donggung Palace and Wolji Pond.
The pond and the palace were built on the order of King Munmu after he unified the three ancient kingdoms.
The treasures of Gyeongju have been here for more than a thousand years. Hopefully one day soon, they can again welcome global travelers.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.