The Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) Tours – Beijing, China
The Temple of Heaven (Tiantan)
About this place
The Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) is one of Beijing’s most distinctive landmarks and often appears on the cover of city and tourist guides. The most impressive building in the park is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. The structure’s three-tiered roof and golden dome are certainly among Beijing’s most recognizable symbols.
This beautiful temple is situated in the middle of one of Beijing’s biggest and most-beloved parks. The park can be entered through a number of gates, but most visitors enter through the East Gate. The park is very tranquil and is an ideal place to stroll and escape the bustle of the city just outside the temple walls. If you are lucky you may get to hear some impromptu traditional Chinese music as many locals often gather to play traditional musical instruments and sing. Others come to the park to engage in other activities such as dancing, flying kites, practicing tai chi or playing cards and board games.
The temple was built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty. It is said that on the day of the winter solstice the Emperors from the Ming and Qing dynasties would go from the Forbidden City to the Temple of Heaven to offer sacrifices such as jade, silk, porcelain and animals to the heavens as well as to pray for good harvests. However, this system of sacrificial worship was abolished in 1912. The northern part of the park is semi-circular and is said to represent the heavens. Conversely, the south part of the park is square and is said to represent the earth.
The Echo Wall and the Three Echo stones are known for their impressive acoustics. However, as hearing the echos requires silence, it is unlikely that you will actually hear your own echo as there are bound to be other visitors milling about at the same time as you. The Echo Wall is under repair until November 30th, 2006.
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