Gyeongju is a round valley surrounded by mountains in all directions.
Moreover, Mt. Myeonghwalsan corresponds to the eastern gateway of Gyeongju City.
As there is a record that Japanese invaders attacked the Myeonghwal Castle in the fourth year (405) of King Silseong’s reign (Samguk Sagi), it is presumed that the castle had been built before that event.
This mountain fortress was made using native rocks found along the girth of the top peak of Mt. Myeonghwal, and approximately 4.5km of stonework remains here.
The Myeonghwalsanseong is one of the Gyeongju Historic Areas and is registered as a World Heritage.
It was also used as a palace for 13 years until the tenth year (488) of the 21st King Soji from the eighteenth year (475) of the 20th King Jabi.
In Queen Seondeok’s reign, Bi-Dam rose in rebellion, camped out in the Myeonghwalsanseong and fought a fierce battle with General Kim Yu-Shin. One day, when a big star dropped in Wolseong (ancient castle of Silla), Bi-Dam was pleased to see it, thinking that it was a sign of the Queen’s defeat.
Then, it is said that General Kim Yu-Shin flew a burning kite the next day, saying ‘The star dropped yesterday went up to the sky again’, thereby stimulating the fighting spirits of his soldiers and defeating Bi-Dam and his followers.
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