Almost Heaven

[Explored on August 4, 2009 - Highest position: #29] - Thank you everyone :D


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First photo from my 5-days road trip to southern part of South Korea :)


This photo is almost SOOC (straight out of camera); slightly cropped the edges to remove the vignetting from CPL filter & RAW converted to JPEG - all done in Canon DPP.


Taken at 17mm, f/8, 1/80s, ISO 200.




These are the burial mounds of the Silla kings located in Gyeongju, South Korea.


Excerpts from Wikipedia:

The early history of Gyeongju is closely tied to that of the Silla kingdom, of which it was the capital. Gyeongju first enters non-Korean records during the Samhan period in the early Common Era. It is recorded in Chinese records as Saro-guk, one of twelve petty states which comprised the Jinhan confederacy. Saro-guk would later become the Silla kingdom. Korean records, probably based on the dynastic chronicles of Silla, record that Saro-guk was established in 57 BCE, when six small villages in the Gyeongju area united under Bak Hyeokgose, the kingdom's first ruler. During the Silla period, the city was called "Seorabeol" (서라벌; 西羅伐), "Gyerim," or "Geumseong" (금성; 金成).


After the unification of the peninsula in the mid-7th century, Gyeongju became the center of Korean political and cultural life. The city was home to the Silla court, and the great majority of the kingdom's elite. Its prosperity became legendary, and was reported as far away as Egypt. The Samguk Yusa gives the city's population in this period as 119,000 households, suggesting that the total population exceeded one million. Many of Gyeongju's most famous sites date from this period, known as Unified Silla.


However, the city's prosperity proved short-lived. In the late ninth century the Silla kingdom declined and fell apart, giving way to the Later Three Kingdoms of Korea. In 927 Gyeongju was pillaged by Hubaekje, one of these later kingdoms. Shortly thereafter, King Gyeongsun surrendered his title and country to Taejo, who then established the Goryeo dynasty. Gyeongju was no longer the capital of a united Korea. Gaegyeong (modern-day Kaesong) assumed that title.

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Taken on July 30, 2009