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Photographer's Note

This view is of the same temple complex as the colorful one http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/South_Korea/photo591854.htm. The maintenance on he facility is performed by monks and volunteers and is an ongoing process. In the fore ground to the left you can see some new roof tiles and the main subject is of course the central one which has accumulate dirt and grass and lots of character. The concrete is supposed to keep the birds and insects out but you can imagine its effectiveness from this shot. To help pay for the constant repair the tiles on the roof are bought, by the faithful and other attendees. They sign them in chalk and write messages to loved ones departed or append little prayers, mush as is done on the Western Wall in Jerusalem I think.

As you can see, the tiles erode in the weather and become frayed around the edges, eventually some crack or break away and then the maintenance must be attended to right away. In some of the homes in town that have similar roofs, rather than replace them in kind, they cover them with fiberglass or other types of weatherproofing.

One of the reasons these tiles wear out is because the buildings are constructed entirely of wood and assembled with clever joints that require no hardware such as nails or screws. The wood breathes and expands and contracts with the humidity and temperature changes, but since the tiles have no ability to change size at the same rate as the wood they work against each other.

Under the eve of the central building you can just get a glimpse of the worn paint, the buildings as well as the roofs are in a constant battle with the weather and from what I can gather on Korean TV the paint used to cover these temples is an ancient mix to which the engineer in me thinks there is therefore very little protection from or longevity to the paint.

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Additional Photos by Greg Davis (Greg1949) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1443 W: 102 N: 2512] (9011)
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