One of the most emblematic places you can see in your Beijing Tour is the Temple of Heaven. Situated on the south-east of the city and with more than 600 years of history and is a must-see in your Bejing tour.

The temple of Heaven was created between 1406 and 1420 by the emperor Yongle (the same that created the Forbidden City) but it was extended on the 16th century.

The temple was repeatedly occupied during wars, but finally it was completely restored and considered a UNESCO World Heritage site and the surroundings are considered now a good park for exercise.

Basically there is three parts of the Temple of Heaven that are singular and that you can visit and are the places that have been considered the most important:

–          The Hall of Prayers for Good Harvests; it’s a triple gabled circular building who is 38 meters tall and 36 meters in diameter, it has three marble-stoned levels and that was the place where the emperor held his prayers for good harvests, it’s constructed entirely in wood and it was struck by lightning in 1889, what you see is a reconstruction from several years later.

–          The Imperial Vault of Heaven; is a circular building with one gable built on only one level of stone, it’s located in the south of the Hall of Prayers for Good Harvests and its quite similar but smaller. It’s surrounded by a wall called the Echo Wall that can transmit sound trough great distances. If you hit it the sound can be heard in the other side of the wall. To go from the Hall to the Vault you have to pass through the Vermillion Steps Bridge, a 360 meters long walkaway that ascends from one place to the other.

–          The Circular Mound Altar; Located south of the Vault of Heaven is a circular platform with three levels of marble decorated with dragons, everything in the Altar is represented nine times or its multiple, the dragons, the steps the stairs…  The center of the altar is a round stone called the Hearth of Heaven or the Supreme Yang, it was there where the Emperor stood and prayed for the good weather.

Except from that in the Temple of Heaven you can find also the Palace of Abstinence, the Flower garden and the Stone garden.

All in all the Temple of Heaven is a place you have to visit in your Beijing Tour so make sure to allow half a day at least to go there (or even a day if you feel like wandering in the Park!) whatever you do don’t miss this magnificent temple

Jack Li
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1 Response » to “The temple of Heaven”

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