Tiantan Park is the seat of the Temple of Heaven in the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911). Temple of Heaven was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest and rain. It is an ancient complex which is the world's existing largest and most perfect formed for Chinese heaven worship.
The Temple comprises the Circular Mound Altar and Altar of Prayer for Good Harvest, divided by two enclosed walls into inner part and outer part with both square in the south and round in the north. Worship building concentrated in the inner altar, the inner altar on all sides of doors. The axis connecting the two altars is a brick masonry platform that is 360 meters long, 28 meters wide and 2.5 meters high, it is also known as "the Sacred Way" or "Sea Coat Avenue". It is also called The "Vermilion Steps Bridge" which symbolizes the long way to heaven.
The building complex of the Circular Mound Altar located at the southern end of the central axis, is the altar for the emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties to worship the emperor God. The north of the Circular Mound Altar is the Imperial Vault of Heaven. Altar of Prayer for Good is located at the northern end of the central axis.
The main building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. In the altar there are the Gate of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Hall of Imperial Zenith, East and West Side Halls, Iron Flame Burner, Yi Kan (ancient sacrificial ground to buried sacrifice, jade and silk pit), Brick Door and other buildings, ancillary buildings are the Huangqian (Imperial Heaven) Long Corridor, Divine Kitchen, the Sacrifice Pavilion and so on. Ancillary buildings of the Circular Mound Alta and Altar of Prayer for Good Harvest are on the east side of Altar of Prayer for Good Harvest. This layout opens the western altar to the Temple of Heaven. A palace surrounded by a city moat called the Hall of Abstinence was built in the south of the Inner altar of West Tianmen Gate, which was the palace where the emperor lived during fasting period.
Main scenic spots: the Circular Mound Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, Altar of Prayer for Good Harvest, the Hall of Imperial Zenith, the Huangqian (Imperial Heaven) Long Corridor, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Vermilion Steps Bridge, the Hall of Abstinence, Divine Kitchen, Court of Divine Music
Address: No. 1, Tiantan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing
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 Tiantandongmen Station (天坛东门; Exit A2)