Thursday, September 9, 2010

The history of Baekje Kingdom unfolds

Visitors walk past the rebuilt Neung Temple at Baekje Cultural Land, Aug. 19, in Buyeo, South Chungcheong Province. The temple was one of the most famous temples during the Baekje Kingdom era.

Drums are pounding rhythmically in the background, along with the racing heartbeats of soldiers ready for battle while clutching spears and suited in armor. The horses also add to the thunderous pounding, elegantly yet swiftly going into battle.

The culture and history of the Baekje Kingdom that dates back to 1,400 years ago is being brought back to life. 

Along with the Silla and Goryeo Kingdom, Baekje was one of the ancient eras that reigned from B.C. 18 to A.D. 660 on Korean soil and was known as a cultural haven that brought together various civilizations from Eastern Asia. 

Buyeo and Gongju counties in South Chungcheong Province were the two main areas where the country flourished, and they are joining forces to host the Great Baekje World Festival from Sept. 18 to Oct. 17. Starting in 1955 and only in Buyeo, the event expanded in both quality and quantity until 2007 when it was held in both counties. 

The Bakeje Cultural Land located in Buyeo, which will be the main venue of the event, was gradually created and improved by numerous masters in various fields, such as architecture, art and history, based on historical records and research for the past 17 years. 

The site enables visitors to get a glimpse of the grand and fancy architecture and historical sites of the period revived quite realistically, including the royal Sabi Palace, Neung Temple and also the first museum that features only Baekje history 

With the opening ceremony scheduled on Sept. 17, marches, exhibitions and performances will unfold for visitors to enjoy.

At Geum and Baekma River, the two locations that made spreading Baekje culture to neighboring countries possible, a grand aquatic performance will be held and bring to life the history of Baekje through fireworks, water shows and theatrical performances. 

The festival committee will also set up an experience booth where visitors can roam around the palace walls like a true Baekje native while they can also take photos and watch soldiers on horseback march and fight during a special battle performance. 

The Buyeo National Museum and Gongju National Museum will hold a special Baekje Exhibition and cultural shows as well. For more information, visit

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