Quite a while ago, I had posted about Jogyesa, the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism, which is the largest sect of Buddhism in the nation. Jogyesa is amazingly small for a place of such importance, given that the Supreme Patriarch of the Jogye Order is connected with the temple. But being as they are located in central Seoul, there isn’t much that they can do to expand. They have also been engaging in quite a bit of building recently.
As a reminder, here is what the old pagoda used to look like:
Given the utter vastness of the main Buddha Hall at Jogyesa, this tiny pagoda really does not go well with the main hall. Traditionally in Korea, a stone pagoda will sit in front of the main Buddha Hall. This one is said to contain relics of the historical Buddha. So recently, a new pagoda, one more fitting for the main hall was put in place. The main Buddha Hall at Jogyesa is said to be the largest such hall in the nation.
They also recently placed another huge monument near the main hall as well.
Not only that, but a couple of new buildings have been erected which are connected with the Jogye Order. One of these is the Templestay Building. Many Korean Buddhist monasteries, including some from other Korean Buddhist sects, now participate in the Templestay Program. In this program, interested persons can spend a day or a weekend living the life of a Korean Buddhist monk. The new building is pretty impressive and has a very nice coffee shop where you can obtain a few different varities of green and herbal teas in addition to coffee.
Finally a new headquarters building for lay Buddhists has been put up as well. It is truly amazing and truly disturbing how quickly buildings are built here in Korea.