Yongmyong Temple

Pyongyang, North Korea

Bombed 1952

The Disappointed Tourist: Yongmyong Temple, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

Requested by Anon.

Yŏngmyŏng Temple was the largest and most important Korean Buddhist temple in Pyongyang. It was supposedly founded at the end of the Goguryeo period in the 7th Century but it was completely rebuilt under the Joseon dynasty (1392 – 1897). It became a popular tourist destination during the Japanese occupation of Korea when the Japanese confiscated the temple and gave it to the Rinzai sect of Japanese Zen Buddhism. The temple was destroyed in 1952 during the U.S. carpet bombings of Pyongyang in the Korean War.