Photo by Seyun Oh
Hwangnyongsa, or Hwangnyong Temple (also spelled Hwangryongsa) is the name of a former Buddhist temple in the city of Gyeongju, South Korea. Completed in the 7th century, the enormous 9-story structure was built entirely with wood with interlocking design with no iron nails. It had a standing total height of 80 m (262ft), making it the tallest structure in East Asia and the tallest wooden structure in the world at the time of its construction. It was the center of state-sponsored Buddhism during the Silla and Unified Silla eras which were cultural beacons of Buddhism during its time. Its name means "Golden/Yellow Dragon Temple" or "Emperor/Imperial Dragon Temple." Archaeological excavations and other scientific studies of the temple began in April 1976 (OCPRI[clarification needed] 1984) and continue today.