October 01, 2020
KCNA Pyongyang Times

Korean roofing tile of antiquity

Date: 15/09/2020 | Source: Pyongyang Times | Read original version at source

Korean roofing tile has a long history.

Korean ancestors had made and used it since the period of Ancient Joson, and its technique made rapid progress during the period of Three Kingdoms and thus widely spread even to neighbouring countries.

As Buddhism was encouraged in the period of Koryo Kingdom and the tile was in great demand at temples, locals made it on a large scale and the tile-making technique also made rapid development.

The Korean tile that had developed throughout a long history guaranteed the solidity, diversity and artistry of national structures for its fine nature and properties, diverse kinds and shapes, and beautiful colours and patterns.

As it is highly resistant to corrosion as compared to other building materials, waterproof and easy to carry and store, the Korean roofing tile makes it possible to reduce the time of execution and ensures easy construction, maintenance and repair.

The Korean roofing tile is divided into semilunar, flat concave tile for covering the main floor of roof, semicylindrical convex tile for covering the joints, ridge-tile for covering the crest of roof, plastering tile between rafters for covering the ridge in the section intersecting ridge intervals and the surface of roof, and antefix tile for covering the bottom of tile at the edge of the eaves. It varies in kind and name according to its position, so it increases the scope and delicacy of architectural depiction.

Its colour and decorative effect are very admirable.

The roofing tile comes in different colours according to the baking temperature, kinds of raw materials and glaze applied to the surface of tile and has various patterns and shapes.

For such superiority of the Korean roofing tile, the Korean ancestors created and developed the fine tiled roof decoration that preserves well the national and regional characteristics.

The end face of gabled roof or hip-saddle roof was covered with crescent tile and the lower part was decorated with gable board and others.

Decorations in the shape of the tail of dragon or eagle were put up at both corners of the ridge and the edge of the ridge was covered with the tiles portraying different pictures to bring into relief the roof’s line beauty, nimbleness and formative beauty.

Such gabled and other roofs constitute the major part of national architecture peculiar to Korea.

“The Grand People’s Study House, People’s Palace of Culture, International Friendship Exhibition House and other monumental structures with the finial of the Korean roofing tile have unique charm that cannot be seen in foreign structures in terms of magnificence and formative beauty,” said Ri In Dong,  chief of the national architecture department of the faculty of architecture of Pyongyang University of Architecture.

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