Lee Gapyong, a retired scholar and hermit living in Maisan Mountain created some 120 pagodas from neatly piling stones on atop another. According to local lore, Lee Gapyong built the structures by himself over the course of three decades during the late 1800s, collecting stones by day and stacking his pagodas by night.
Only 80 of these structures remain — each with its own distinct size and shape — and they’re what make Tapsa Temple famous. Built without the use of mortar, these towers of natural stone have stood for over a century. The largest pagodas measure an impressive 30 feet (9 meters) tall.
The temple and its collection of pagodas sits beneath a cliff on Maisan Mountain inside Maisan Provincial Park, creating a bizarre temple landscape quite different from anything else in Korea.
Set aside some extra time during your visit to explore nearby Unsusa and Geamdangsa Temples.