The Temple of Heaven (天坛公园)

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It is China s largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings

Information on this page last updated:2016-11-22 16:39:55

Admission: 10 RMB (Nov. - March); 15 RMB (April - Oct.)
Opening Hours: Peak Season: 6:00-21:00 (stops selling tickets at 20:00)
Off-season: 6:00-21:00 (stops selling tickets at 20:00)
Phone: +86 10 67028866
Best Time to Visit: April to October
Recommended Time for a Visit: 2 Hours

Description

The Temple of Heaven Park is located in Dongcheng District, Beijing. Originally, this was the place where emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. It is China's largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China's ancient sacrificial buildings.

First built in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), it was enlarged and rebuilt during the reigns of the Ming emperor Jiajing and the Qing emperor Qianlong. In 1988, the Temple of Heaven was opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion. Its grand architectural style and profound cultural connotation give an insight into the practices of the ancient Eastern civilization.

Covering an area of 2,700,000 square meters (3,529,412 square yards), the Temple of Heaven is larger than the Forbidden City. As the 'Sons of Heaven', Chinese emperors were precluded from building a dwelling for themselves that was greater than the earthly residence dedicated to Heaven, hence the difference in overall size of the two complexes. The temple is enclosed by a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected an ancient Chinese thought of 'the heaven is round and the earth is square'. The Temple is divided by two encircling walls into an inner part and outer part. The main buildings lie at the south and north ends of the middle axis of the inner part. The most magnificent buildings are the Circular Mound Altar (Huanqiutan), the Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian) from south to north.

Featured Attractions:

1. The legend of the echo from the Temple's Echo Wall: There is a circular wall around The Imperial Vault of The Temple of Heaven, which many refer to as the Echo Wall. Legend has it that if you whisper at any point closest to the wall, it is said that one may be able to hear you clearly on the other side. It is said to be so clear that it almost sounds like talking on the phone.

2. The Heaven's Center Stone: There is a stone in the center of the Circular Mound Altar called the Heaven's Center Stone. Stand above it and shout loudly, you will hear the reverberation. It's a scenic spot that is one of the most frequented hot spots of the city. We're almost sure you'll enjoy your time there.

Map

Address: No. 1, Tiantan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Transportation:

Take Bus No. 2 or 120 and get off at Tiantan West Gate (天坛西门).
Take Bus No. 72 or 35 and get off at Fahuasi (法华寺).
Take Subway Line 5 and get off at Tiantan East Gate (天坛东门; Exit A2)

Scenic Pictures

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