Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China
The Temple of Heaven is a complex consisting of spiritual buildings in Beijing and is the largest and most important ancient sacrificial buildings in China. The Ming and Qing dynasty emperors are known to visit this complex to offer prayers.
Reaching Temple of Heaven, Beijing
You can reach the east gate of the complex from Tiantan Dongmen Station. Public buses are available to the east gate. The park within which the temple and historic buildings are located opens at 6 AM and closes by 8 PM.
About Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven encompasses an area of 2,700,000 square meters. It is surrounded by a long wall. The semicircular northern part within the wall symbolizes the heaven, while square shape southern part represents the earth. There are 92 ancient buildings within this complex.
Temple of Heaven Buildings
The Hall of Prayer is one of the important buildings, where the emperors sacrificed animals for offering prayer for good harvests. It has twelve pillars in the center and twelve pillars outside, which represent twelve months and twelve hours respectively. The Imperial vault of Heaven is a circular building, constructed on a single marble stone place. There is an echo wall inside this compound. If you whisper something from one end the voice will be transmitted to the other end. The Red Stairway Bridge inside the complex is around 1,200 meters long and it connects the historical buildings. The bridge is flanked by cypress trees that are century old.
The Temple of Heaven stands as a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design of one of the world’s greatest civilizations. Circular Mount Altar was used as the place to worship heave during winter season. It features a large round terrace made of marble known as the circular mound.
The Hall of Prayers for abundant harvest is located in the north enclosure. This hall is connected with the Temple of Heaven by a 440m long and 25m wide corridor. It is surrounded by the hall itself. It features superimposed roofs with blue glazed tiles. In this hall, the emperors prayed for good harvests. The interior of this building is richly decorated. The Palace of Abstinence is located in the southwest of the Hall of prayer for good harvests. In the palace, the emperors fasted before offering prayers. It has various unique buildings, including the Rest Palace and Beamless Hall.
There is a huge park and garden in the Temple of Heaven. Century old cypresses trees are worth seeing. It is advisable to visit the park in the early morning so that you can see the locals doing physical activities. The park is very big, so wear comfortable walking shoes and carry bottle of water.