The Temple of Heaven in Beijing is largest existent ancient sacrificial complex in China, which is located in the southeastern part of central Beijing. Every day people travel from all over the world come to visit the Temple of Heaven for its stunning and unique architectures. Occupying an area of 2,700,000 square meters, It was built in 1420 AD Ming Dynasty and enlarged in the Qing Dynasty, three times larger than the Forbidden City. The temple was for emperors of the two dynasties to worship heaven and pray for rich harvest. The design of the layout and that of its individual constructions was all built according to strict philosophical requirements which reflect the relationship between earth and heaven, the human world and the God's world in heaven, and the special role played by the emperor as the emperors thought they were the son of the heaven.
The complex consists of the inner temple and the outer temple and is surrouned by two walls. The northern part of the wallsa is semicircular and higher while the southern part is square and lower, which symbolizes the ancient Chinese concept of cosmogony of Round Sky and Square Earth. The main buildings in the Temple of Heaven are the Alter of Prayer for Good Harvests in the north and Circular Mound Altar in the south lined in the central axis and connected by a 36-meter-long stairway bridge. The emperors prayed for nice weather and good harvest in the the Alter of Prayer for Good Harvests. The major construction of the altar, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, is a circular building with three layers roof covered with dark blure glazed tile on a three-tiered circular terrace which shows respect to the heaven. The whole building has no crossbeams or purlins or nails inside.
The hall is supported by 28 pillars, with four in the center symbolizing four season, twelve on the two outer circles presenting twelve months and twelve Chinese Shichens of a day which equals to 2 hours. Walking down along the Red Stairway comes the Imperial Vault of Heaven, where you can enjoy the unique magical acoustics phenomenon of the Echo Wall and the triple-sound stone. Further south lies the Circular Mound Altar where the emperor worshiped heaven on winter solstice. It is a three-tiered round tarrace built with bluestone edged by white marble balusters. The fan-shaped stones were placed around the flagstone in the center, Heavenly Heart Stone, layer by layer of multiple nine, as nine represents infinity. Here is some guide information of the Temple of Heaven
Location: Southeast of Beijing Opening Hours: 08:00-18:00 Tickets: CNY 15-35 (Apr.1-Oct.31); CNY 10-30 (Nov.1-Mar.31) Contact number: +86 10 67036062
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