Seobongsa Temple: Embracing Serenity in the Heart of Daegu

Discover the beauty of Seobongsa Temple, with its renowned artwork and serene surroundings. Indulge in the joy of stumbling upon unexpected cafes. A perfect blend of culture and pleasant surprises in the middle of the city.

A Surprising Adventure in the Middle of the City

I was stopped at the light, on my way to pick up a chicken and avocado sandwich at Kai’s Sandwich shop when I looked up. I’d seen the outline of the Seobongsa Temple many times, but never climbed the hill to check it. I love the idea of a temple in the middle of the city and I wanted to see if it was a possible place of peace and quiet. Never wanting to pass up a moment of inspiration, Today was the day. So instead of eating my sandwich in the cafe, I decided to take it to go and eat in at the temple instead.

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Navigating the Maze to Seobongsa Temple

I have to confess, I got a little lost trying to find my way to Seobongsa Temple. I ended up circling Daebong Street twice before figuring out what the GPS was trying to say. The moment I found it, I wished I hadn’t. The road leading to the temple was so narrow, it felt like driving on a tank trail. And to make matters worse, there was barely any space to park in the temple courtyard. I had to squeeze my car between a wall and another vehicle just to let someone pass. Sometimes, I really regret bringing my big car here. However, I decided to deal with that later. The temple awaits.

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Stunning Views Over Daebong

I entered the temple, it felt like stepping into another world in the middle of the city. The temple complex was like a mini village, with different buildings surrounding a beautiful courtyard with the typical obelisk. From the temple, I could see the busy Daebong intersection and the monorail and even some other buildings in the distance. It was like having a bird’s-eye view of the city. It was very peaceful. Everyone I passed greeted me with a traditional Buddhist bow and clapping of hands. I am so used to people staring at me, I didn’t get any of that at Seobongsa Temple. Actually, I never feel that way at temples. It’s one of the reasons I visit them so often. They make me feel welcome.

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The Captivating Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Painting

While I was researching the temple, I found something interesting. There is an incredible ancient painting called “Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva and the Ten Underworld Kings.” It was created by a talented monk and painter named Segwan. It was painted in 1741. The painting hasn’t always resided at Seobongsa Temple. It was brought here from Namjangsa Temple in Ulsan. The painting uses the same vibrant colors in the temple’s design– deep greens and rich reds. I appreciated all the small details in the faces of all the Bodhisattvas.

Cafe 작은도서관

Now, get ready for a surprise twist. As I was exploring, I stumbled upon a sign that said, “Cafe this way.” A cafe tucked away in the temple? I couldn’t resist. I followed the sign and discovered a charming little cafe called 작은도서관, which means “Small Library.”

Walking down a few steps, I noticed rows of dark brown kimchi pots. But then, I turned the corner, I was greeted by the cutest cafe and a lovely patio. The view amazed me as I looked out over the heart of the city, surrounded by shade trees and green umbrellas that seamlessly blended with the environment.

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The cafe was painted white with brick accents, and huge windows let in plenty of natural light. But the best part? They had the most adorable decorations, like spiral topiaries, little plaster Buddhas, and even an Eiffel Tower all glammed up. I couldn’t resist smiling inside and out.

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Right next to the cafe and temple, there’s a secret park that’s open to the public. There was no one inside the large wooden entranceway. I think it would be a peaceful spot to relax during lunch. However, I suggest you park in the lower parking lot and take a leisurely stroll, albeit a climb, up the hill instead.

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Discover Your Inner Zen in the Heart of the City

So if you’re craving a break from the chaos of everyday life, Seobongsa Temple and its charming café, 작은도서관, are 5-10 minutes away. It just goes to show you that no matter how much you know Daegu, there is always something new to discover. I love living in Daegu. I feel incredibly lucky to be so close to temples like Seobongsa Temple, where I can appreciate its beautiful artwork and have the joy of stumbling upon a new cafe.

📍Seobongsa Temple34, Myeongdeok-ro 54-gil, Nam-gu, Daegu

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