Temple of Heaven

Temple Of Heaven.jpg

The Temple of Heaven was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped heaven andprayed for good harvests. They came here twice a year, on the 15th day of the 1st lunar month and on Winter Solstice. At first, both heaven and earth were worshiped here. Following the construction of the Temple of Earth in 1530 inthe north of Beijing, only heaven was worshiped in this temple. The temple is considered a Taoist temple, although Chinese heaven worship predates Taoism.

Located in southern Beijing, it was first constructed in 1420, during the 18th year of the reign of Ming Emperor Yongle,who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City. During thereigns of Ming Emperor Jiajing and Qing Emperor Qianlong, it was extended andrenovated. Covering an area of 273 hectares, it is the largest architectural complex in the world for rituals to pay homage to heaven. In 1918, it was turned into a park. In 1998, it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The Temple of Heaven is round in the north and square in the south, implying the traditional Chinese belief that there is a "round heaven and square earth”. Two layers of surrounding walls divide thetemple into the Inner Altar and the Outer Altar. The two altars, connected by a360-metre-long raised walk called the Vermilion Steps Bridge, are arranged in aline forming a north-south axis 1,200 meters long.

One of the three main buildings in thecomplex is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the largest building of thetemple complex and constructed entirely without nails. The next is The Imperial Vault of Heaven, surrounded by a smooth circular wall called the Echo Wall,that can transmit sounds along the length of the wall. The Imperial Vault isconnected to the Hall of Prayer by the Vermilion Steps Bridge, a 360 meter longraised walkway flanked by centuries-old cypresses that slowly ascends from theVault to the Hall of Prayer. The final main structure is the Circular MoundAltar, constructed of marble and the actual altar at which the emperors wouldpray for favorable weather.

The park surrounding the Temple of Heavenis now a popular place the Morning Exercises.

Tours with Temple Of Heaven included:

Beijing hightlight city tour with Tianjin cruise port transfers

Beijing Three Days Package Tour with Tianjin Cruise Port transfers

Beijing Four Days Package Tour with Tianjin Cruise Port transfers

Beijing Tianjin Five Days Package Tour with Tianjin Cruise Port transfers

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