Bell of King Seongdeok

National Treasure #29
Unified Silla, 771 A.D.
Gyeongju, Korea

This bell, the largest that survives in Korea today, was commissioned by King Gyeongdeok in honor of his father, King Seongdeok. However the bell was not actually cast until the reign of Gyeongdeok's son, King Hyegong. It was originally housed in Bongdeoksa Temple, and now occupies a pavilion on the grounds of Gyeongju Museum. It is sometimes called the Emile (em-ee-leh, or "mommy") Bell, according to a popular legend.

The mighty instrument measures 3.33 meters (11 ft) high, 2.27 meters (7.4 ft) in diameter, and weighs 18.9 tons. It features a dragon hook, reliefs of flowers and apsarasas, and numerous inscriptions. An interesting feature, unique to Korean bells, is a hollow amplifying tube near its hook. For video and audio of the bell, see The Bell of King Seongdeok and Emille bell sound of Korea (YouTube).