The main temple of the 7th district of Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism Located in Sacheon-ri, Deoksan-myeon, Yesan-gun, Chungcheongnam-do, Sudeoksa Temple, stands in the center surrounded by such mountains, like folded screens, as Deoksungsan, a southern part of Charyeong Mountains toward the west, Gayasan to the east, Ohseosan to the west, and Yongbongsan to the southeast. This place has been called Sogeumgang (river) neighboring moun- tains and the sea in harmony, low hills and even plains connected together, and streams flowing down along the valleys. Having deeply rooted in the Buddhist soul and produced many priests of virtue, Sudeoksa has existed as a Korean Buddhist Predictive temple.
Scholars estimate that Sudeoksa Temple was founded under the reign of King Wideokwang of Baekje (554～597), which is proven by Baekje Wadang found in the early temple site inside Sudeoksa. This temple is well-known as the main temple of the Korean Zen Buddhism since it is said that, in this temple, Priest Hyehyeonbeopsa preached during the reign of Baekje ‘s king Muwang(600～641), Priest Naonghwasang reconstructed it under the reign of Goryeo’s king Gongminwang, and Priest Mangongseonsa preached in the second year of Joseon’s king Gojong (1865). Constructed in the period of Goryeo’s king Chungryeolwang in 1308 and later designated as the National Treasure No. 49 on December 31, 1962, Daeeungjeon at Sudeoksa is a wooden structure with three front kans (four columns) and four side kans (five columns), and a counter-lifted tin-roof in a Jusimpo style. It has Sudeoksa Three-story Stone Pagoda, the tangible cultural asset No. 103 designated by Chungcheongnam-do, and Sudeoksa Seven-story Stone Pagoda, the cultural asset No. 181 designated by Chungcheongnam-do. Goryeo’s such mural paintings as the national treasure No. 1263 Nosana Goaebul, Umryulgongy- angbicheondo, Suhwado, Yahwado, Geumryongdo and Joseon’s Obuldo were all well-known, all of which were unfortunately lost during war. Currently, replicas of those were kept in the National Museum of Korea. Jeonghye-sa, Jeonwol-sa, Geumseondae, Hyangungak, Sorypchodang, Gyeonseongam, Hwanheedae, Manwoldang, Seonsuam, Woonsuam, and Gukrakam are located inside this temple as well.
Gunyeokseongbogwan means a place for the collection of the national cultural spirits based on the world stories. This place plays a role of providing a chance to understand the Buddhist culture and recognize its value as well as accumulating systematic data for Buddhist cultural remains by collecting, surveying, maintaining, and exhibiting the information on Buddhism. Indeed, it houses 600 Buddhist cultural assets or more on display to examine the original current and chronological changes of Buddhism in this region since the time of Baekje.
Sudeoksa is a typical mountainous type Buddhist temple having three divisions and the stone embankment along the gentle hill of Deoksungsan with Daeungjeon to the uppermost part. The divisions and embankment highlight Daeungjeon through the continuity from introduction through development to result, and their synergy effects. The introduction division is Iljumunhwa Hwanghajeongru a gate to enter the temple out of the mundane world, the development division reaches Joinjeongsa capturing attention by leading rapid changes of the visual range, and the result division is Daeungjeon strengthening its role and functions as a key place. These three divisions are completed in proper arrangement of a movement line with excellent structural beauty.