Kinkakuji was built as a retirement villa for Ashikaga Yoshimitsu in 1397. It was converted to a Buddhist temple of the Rinzai sect by his son after his death. Kinkakuji has burned down several times, not only in the Onin Wars (when most of Kyoto burned) but also in 1950 as a result of arson. The arsonist was a mentally disturbed monk who was supposed to be looking after the pavillion. Read more about Kinkakuji here and here.
Read more about the day I went to Kinkakuji here.