The bell of the Yonbok Temple, one of the five famous bells of Korea, was cast in 1346. It is hanging in the Nam Gate, the old castle gate in Kaesong City.
Originally, the bell was hung in the Yonbok Temple. When the temple was burnt down in a fire in 1563, the bell was moved to the Nam Gate.
The bell is 1.9 metres across at its mouth, 3.12 metres high and 0.23 metres thick. It weighs about 14 tons.
The bell of the Yonbok Temple is different from other bells in those days in the shape, contents of patterns and arrangement.
The bell has several thick lines at its waist dividing the upper from the lower part. Engraved on them are an image of Buddha, the Buddhist scriptures, and various designs and characters. The mouth of the bell is hemmed with illustrations of waves and fish, dragons and different other animals moving with the waves.
Engraved on the top of the bell are dragons which are so vivid that they are lifelike.
The bell of the Yonbok Temple has not only elegant and impressive decorations on its outer surface but also beautiful and clear sound whose trailing notes are said to have spread far to more than 40 kilometres.
The bell cast in copper alloy shows well the high level of the metal casting and metal workmanship in those days.