Temple of Heaven Beijing
Temple of Heaven is a large park and temple complex situated
in more or less the south central area of Beijing.
The Temple of Heaven covers an area of 273 hectares. It was completed in 1420 and was originally a platform for the Son of Heaven (the emperor) to perform sacrifices and solemn rites. Among the gods worshiped were the god of earth, the god of water, the god of agriculture (who has his own hall in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests), the god of the military, the god of religion and the god of civilians. Offering sacrifices was a serious task, as was atoning the sins of the people. The entire empire relied on the emperor for good fortune and abundant harvests so he had quite a responsibility! The Temple was opened to the public in 1912 and commoners who had previously been banned from even watching the bizarre procession pass through the city to Tiantan, were now permitted to visit the Temple themselves.
The total area is 2,700,000 Square meter，it is divided inner temple of heaven and outer temple of heaven. The Temple buildings and the parklands reflect ancient Chinese religious beliefs that imagine heaven as round and earth as square. Thus, the buildings in the temple are constructed on a central axis. The temples themselves are round and the bases square. Similarly, the Northern part of the park is a semicircular shape and the south, a square. In the south of the Temple complex are the Altar of Heaven and the Echo Wall. The parklands and the Temple are an exquisite place to spend some time, especially in the early morning. Drag yourself out of bed at dawn and watch the Taiji experts, kite flyers and dance fans strut their stuff.
The highlight of the Temple of Heaven is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. The hall a cone-shaped structure with triple eaves was built without beams and purlins. The heavy triple eaved top is supported entirely by 28 huge columns. The Hall is enclosed by lattice doors and windows instead of brick walls. The whole building is of high artistic value in structure shape and application of colors.
The imperial Vault of Heaven is a single-eaved round building covered by dark-blue glazed tiles on the roof. The tablet of "the imperial God in Heaven” was kept here and moved to the Circular Mound Altar to be worshipped on the occasions of sacrificial ceremonies.
The well-known Echo Wall 65.1 meters in diameter surround the Vault. When two persons stand at the east and west ends respectively and whisper toward the wall they can hear each other as distinctly as if they were talking over the telephone.
The Circular Mound Altar was used to worship Heaven so it was built in a round shape. The Circular Mound is comprised of three round white marble terraces. In the center of the upper terrace is the Heaven's Heart Stone which is surrounded by concentrically arranged flagstones.
Opening Time: 07:00-19:30 (winter), 05:00-21:30 (summer)
4 Days Beijing Charming Tour with Temple of Heaven USD 450 up
3 Days Beijing Highlights Tour with Temple of Heaven USD 350 up
2 Days Beijing City Tour with Temple of Heaven USD 250 up
Full Day Beijing City Tour with Temple of Heaven USD 50 up