Situated in the south of the city, this stunning temple park was built between 1406 and 1420. It was here that the emperors ... More
Temple of Heaven
Situated in the south of the city, this stunning temple park was built between 1406 and 1420. It was here that the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties prayed, through an elaborate ritual, to the gods for good rains and good harvests. There are four main areas - the Round Altar, Echo Wall, the Vault of Heaven and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. The distinctive outline of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a symbol of Beijing, and a whisper at any point on the echo wall can be heard anywhere else along its length of 64 meters (210 feet). Throughout the temple complex intricate details symbolize earth and celestial bodies. In fact, every element of the temple is constructed with such precision that no tile or pillar is without a specific meaning.
The Temple of Heaven is a Beijing must see. This is a fairly long rectangular park that includes many excellent features and structures. The Echo Wall is a circular structure in which your sounds travel around the inside wall to be heard on the other side. The actual main temple is very beautiful and impressive, as are the halls on either side of it displaying religious artifacts.
There are many gates to pass through with smaller temples, sacrificial alters, and parade grounds. The park that surrounds the temple structures is also a good place to watch the locals or relax with a snack.
The main temple is under construction so all you see are workers and green awnings but the grounds were fabulous and a very neat place to see local culture. the old people would all gather for a game of hackey sack (really! i've video of this!) or badminton or just playing instruments. Really fabulous atmosphere even if you didn't see the temple itself.
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