Jungdaesa Temple site
- In a mountain behind Samhwa Temple, northwest of Mureung valley, Sam-hwa dong
The accurate date of establishment is unknown due to the lack of documented records.
According to Yeojidoseo( Yeo Atlas, published in 1759), “Joongdae Temple is in front of Mt. Duta, which is about 160km away to the west of Boo-eui and the temple has 51 rooms.” Samcheok gun records(published in 1916) report that “Samhwa Temple was relocated in the upper parts of Mureung valley and renamed Joongdae. But the temple was moved to Guji and renamed Samhwa again in 1748”
On the other hand, Jinju records(1963) say that “Samhwa temple was moved to the old site of Joongdae temple in the northwest of Mureung areas and renamed Joongdae temple by Buddhist monks following being burnt down in the inauguration year of King Hyon(1660). Samhwa temple was established again in the original site in the 24th year of the reign of King Yeong( 1748).”
To sum up, the Joongdae is estimated to be founded during the reign of King Son( 1576~1607) or in the inauguration year of King Hyon(1660). And the temple seems to be initiated when Samhwa temple was temporarily moved to the current site of Joongdae temple.
Recently, a piece of roofing tile written as “the fifth day of March, the eighth year of the reign of Soonchi-the third emperor of Qing Dynasty” was discovered. This proves that the temple already existed as late as in 1651, the next year since the inauguration of King Hyon(1651), and makes the information on Samcheok gun records more convincing.
Meanwhile, Sinjeung Dongguk yeoji seungnam (published in 1530) has a record that “Joongdae temple is in Mt. duta”. This suggests that a temple which existed before the relocation of the temple of Samhwa was destroyed by a fire in the first year of King Hyon.
What is true is that the temple's 51 rooms have kept since the movement of the Samhwa to this location to 1759, which was after Samhwa temple was moved again to the old site. The place, used as terraced field years before, is mostly filled with weeds and bamboos in some parts. To the left of the building site lies a grave.
Around the site are rocks, large and small and inside the place on which structures were built are cornerstones, which have been kept pretty well. The embankment which runs east to west is kept well right under the place of structures and the remnants of stairs to them remain almost intact. There remain the remnants of buildings under the embankment. A lot of pieces of roofing tiles and ceramics are scattered and a stone pole is abandoned.