Temple of Heaven, Beijing

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  • Temple of Heaven
    Temple of Heaven
    by loja
  • Temple of Heaven, beautiful Chinese roofs
    Temple of Heaven, beautiful Chinese...
    by loja
  • Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
    Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
    by loja
  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    VISIT THE AMAZING TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

    by DennyP Updated Oct 7, 2011

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    THE TEMPLE OF GOOD HARVESTS..AND TEMPLE OF HEAVEN
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    The day following my visit to The Forbidden City I planned to visit The Temple of Heaven Park located in the Chongwen District of Beijing I found it once again to be an inexpensive taxi ride ..The Taxi dropped me right at the Entrance to the park and , as I was told...This is a huge park..but my main reason to visit here is to see the Temple of Heaven..known as THE TEMPLE OF GOOD HARVESTS.. this is one of the TEN GREATEST TEMPLES IN THE WORLD

    Located in the Temple of Heaven Park..This Temple is also known as The Temple of Good Harvests..Trying to always get to see one of these Top Ten Temples of the World is a must for me wherever I can find them, and I was looking forward so much to seeing this one..

    Built in the year1420 the original Temple was square and known then as "The Great Hall of Sacrificial Rituals"..Rebuilt in the year 1545 The great Temple now had a triple eaved roof added each covered with blue, green, and yellow tiles , these symbolising Earth, Heaven and The Mortal World.
    Once again in 1751 a major reconstruction took place and the Grand Temple was surmounted then by a triple tiered roof with bright blue glazed tiles only and renamed "The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.".
    The Temple is so wonderfully ornate and its size is only surpassed by its magnificence..
    (some stats) The Temple of Heaven is 38.2 meters high and 24.2 meters in diameter .The many huge pillars that support the Hall represent The 12 months of the year, The twelve time divisions of day and night and all the constellations..This Temple is the only existing example of this ancient style of architecture of Mingdang left in China.

    This truly is an incredibly well maintained and manicured Park with many beautiful gardens and grassed areas with different Temples and , intricately painted buildings to see and enjoy..The day I visited The Temple Gardens there were many people here but as the gardens areas are so huge the people just seem to disperse..

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    the Temple of Heaven

    by honestjohn Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Prayer Hall

    The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 during the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty. Situated in the southern part of the city, this grand set of structures covers an area of 273 hectares. To better symbolize heaven and earth, the northern part of the Temple is circular while the southern part is square. The whole compound is enclosed by two walls, a square wall outside a round one. The outer area is characterized by suburban scenery, while the inner part is used for sacrifices. The inner enclosure consists of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and the Circular Mound Altar.
    Today the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is the hallmark of Beijing, which enjoys a prolonged history of civilization. The annex halls were symmetrically built on a 1.5-meter-high brick-and-marble terrace, to set off the loftiness and magnificence of the main hall. This unique building, 38 meters in height, is characterized by a cone-shaped structure with triple eaves and a top that is crowned by a gilt ball. The roofing is made of blue glazed tiles, the color of the sky. Underneath the roof, the beams and brackets are decorated with colored paintings. The base of the structure is a triple-tiered, circular marble terrace. At a distance, the terrace looks like a gigantic, spiraling cloud with the structure perched on top of it.
    The Imperial Vault of Heaven is the main structure of Heaven's Storehouse. Aside from exquisitely laid out architectures, Heaven's Storehouse is also famous for two structures with peculiar acoustic features, i.e. the Echo Wall and the Triple-Sound Stone. A mere whisper at any point close to the wall can be heard clearly on the other side, although the parties may be 40 or 50 meters apart. This is possible because the wall is round and hermetically constructed with smooth, solid bricks. The Temple of Heaven is also famous for its cypress trees - there are more than 60, 000 cypress trees in all, among which over 4,000 are more than one hundred years old, adding to the solemn atmosphere of the temple.

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  • Green_Frog's Profile Photo

    Heaven - it was...

    by Green_Frog Updated Jul 26, 2010

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    Huge grounds and such beautiful gardens too - there's a kind of calm here and yet the place is abuzz with people dancing to traditional Chinese music, playing Chinese musical instrument,
    playing mahjong and Chinese Checkers whilst others are practising their tai-chi movements.

    It's amazing and full of character - I loved it here and wished we could've spend more time enjoying it all.

    If there is a Heaven.... I think we've found it.....

    Entry - 35rmbs p/p

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  • al2401's Profile Photo

    The People's Park

    by al2401 Updated Jun 5, 2010

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    Ballroom Dancing - Temple of Heaven
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    The Chinese people love their parks and exercise/socialising. Every morning you will see people exercising, playing games, dancing or just relaxing with a book or newspaper. These photos come form the Temple of Heaven where there are also a lot of entertainers to keep you enthralled.

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    The Temple of Heaven

    by al2401 Updated Jun 2, 2010

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    Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
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    The buildings in this complex are regarded as Taoist temples and were used by the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties to pray to Heaven for good harvests. They are situated in a park of almost 3 square kilometres in area. There are three main buildings of interest;

    The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a beautiful round, wooden, three roofed building sitting on a base of three tiers of marble. It was here the emperor prayed for good Harvest.

    The Imperial Vault of Heaven, again round, is a single roofed building on a single level marble base. Situated to the south it is like a minature of the Hall of Prayer. It housed an artefact used in the ceremony of prayer for good harvest.

    The Circular Mound Altar is a large circular area paved in marble. It was used by the emperor for the ceremony of the Winter Solstice and is located south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven.

    The three buildings are connected by a direct walkway.

    The round shape of the buildings symbolises Heaven while the square shape of the yards they occupy symbolises Earth. Symbolism is evident at the Circular Mound Altar in the repetition of the number nine which represents the emperor.

    The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests has four inner, twelve middle and twelve outer pillars, representing the four seasons, twelve months and twelve traditional Chinese hours respectively. Combined together, the twelve middle and twelve outer pillars represent the traditional solar term (Wikipedia).

    The blue colour of the roof tiles represents Heaven.

    Apart from all this history I enjoyed the beautiful park and magnificent buildings. A must see in Beijing

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  • ValbyDK's Profile Photo

    The Temple of Heaven Park

    by ValbyDK Updated Apr 26, 2010

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    Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest
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    The Temple of Heaven Park, located some 6km south from the centre of Beijing, was built between 1409 and 1420. The Emperor used to come here each winter solstice to make sacrifices to Heaven and to pray for good harvest.

    The most impressive temples are the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and the Hall of Abstinence – both very colourful. However, the Temple of Heaven Park is actually bigger than the Forbidden City and there are many other interesting sights in the park. The Circular Mound Altar – with the Heaven's Heart Stone (Tianxingshi) and the terraces, designed according to the supreme odd number (9) –, the Red Stairway Bridge, the walkway with the many old cypress trees, the Seven-Star Rocks and much more…

    The Temple of Heaven Park was a really nice place, and also popular among the locals. People were taking a nap or having a picnic. If you go to the park early in the morning, there will be many people exercising kung fu and tai chi.

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  • muratkorman's Profile Photo

    A beautiful temple not to be missed

    by muratkorman Updated Apr 8, 2010

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    Temple of Heaven used to be the place where emperors of Ming and Qing dynasties would pray for the prosperity and longevity of the empire. The northern part of the outer wall is semi-circular and the southern part is square. This comes from the ancient belief that heaven was round and the earth was square. The inner temple is divided into two groups of buildings. The north structure is the Altar of Praying for Bumper Crops with the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. The south structure is the Circular Mound Altar. The main buildings in the temple complex are the Hall of Heavenly Emperor, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Long Corridor and the Longevity Pavillion. The Echo Wall and Vermillion Steps Bridge are also very interesting. In 1998 it was included in UNESCO World Heritage. The park surrounding the temple is open from 6 am to 9 pm. You can see people practising Taichi, martial arts or dancing. The temple is open between 8 am and 5 pm. In order to see all buildings you need to get the through ticket which costs 30 Yuan. Only the entrance ticket costs 10 Yuan.

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    Shuang huan wan shou ting Pavilion

    by waxiong Written Dec 22, 2009

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    shuang huan wan shou ting pavilion
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    In the northwest corner of The Temple of Heaven, i find some pavilions.They are not glitter but make you cannot help laughing as soon as seeing them. One of them is a peach-shaped birthday cake, another is a folding fan. For a person who still hold in awe and veneration, I can free myself from the tension brought by Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest here.

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  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo

    Temple of Heaven

    by marielexoteria Updated Dec 1, 2009

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    Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
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    The Temple of Heaven park is another lovely place to be at. We took a taxi from the Chaoyang district and when I saw the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests from the distance, I felt a surge and got all smiley. It's Beijing's biggest and most popular open space, at least judging by the people exercising that I saw. It's open between 6am and 9pm while the sights inside are open between 8am and 6pm. The main feature of the park is the beautiful Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, which was built in the 5th century.

    They have 2 prices, one for entering the park and one that gives you access to the sights in the premises, so we took the first one (as of Nov 2009, 10 RMB). I wanted to see the Hall first but I started strolling the park first, and found several men and women flying kites. The day was lovely and cold but there was enough wind for the kites to be airborne. Upon our arrival 2 people were trying to fly a kite and I saw that the technique they use is different from the one the kids in my home town use: instead of running with the kite behind them, they had their kites tied to a circular thing that would release as much thread as needed, and they would spin around. One of the people we saw was getting successful at flying the kite but not too high hehe.

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  • lindyz's Profile Photo

    Temple of Heaven

    by lindyz Updated Oct 2, 2009

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    In front of the main temple
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    We caught a taxi to and from the Temple of Heaven, it was cheap, only 11rmb each way, dont exactly know where it is or how to get there on foot.

    I had always just thought that the Temple of Heaven was the one round building that you always see on information, but then I read that it is actually 4 times bigger than the Forbidden City - and Im like WHAT???? No-one told me it that it was that big! Man, they build things BIG in China!

    Once again, we just wandered through the Temple of Heaven without a Guide, just taking in the sights, the buildings, and people-watching. We probably didnt see all there was to see or learn all about its history, but sometimes we just felt it easier to do it this way.

    The famous photographed round building was a HUGE room filled simply with a throne, if I remember correctly. This is quite amazing, that such huge and ornate buildings were built for one simple purpose, and this one was simply for the Emperor to sit in!!!

    We spent a leisurely 2 hours here just wandering and taking photos.

    One very strange thing happened to us as we were leaving the Temple of Heaven. A rather innocent looking old woman had followed us for about 10 minutes still in the grounds, we left and hailed down a taxi, and she was still following us. We thought this was odd, but didnt think too much of it. Then when we were getting into the taxi into the back seat, she proceeded to open the front seat and get in!! We said "no" and she was still getting in and then the taxi driver said something to her in Chinese and she got out. It was very odd, because she didnt know where we were going, I guess she just wanted a free lift to "wherever!"

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    Beyond the Temple

    by leigh767 Updated Sep 28, 2009

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    This is REALLY DIFFICULT! I tried...
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    Beyond the majestic views of the Temple of Heaven, the park grounds surrounding this famous site is teeming with life. Locals love to hangout here, making this a special place that's not a mere tourist hotspot. If you want to get a real look at life here in Beijing, this is a great place to start.

    If you head to the south gate of the Temple of Heaven, you will find water calligraphers, so named because instead of using black ink, they use water as their "ink". With huge sponge-made calligraphy pens, they write on the ground with the same flourish one would expect on paper. Lots of beautiful penmanship to be gleaned here, written in virtually every style of Chinese calligraphy imaginable. I love seeing them in action as they etch 5,000 years of calligraphy knowledge into the ground, only to have the writing evaporate in a few minutes. I find a poetic sense of transience in this very act.

    Others come to sing, dance, play chess, play the "er hu" (ancient Chinese string instrument) and that game in which you kick a puck with feathers-- it's very difficult and I have no idea how the people manage to hit the puck even when it's behind their backs! I also learned this game called "da hua gun" involving a rubber baton and "huge chopsticks" from someone who who making a dazzling show of twirling the baton around. It's very hard but worth a try. The locals always bring extra sets of whatever they're playing so that passersby who want to give it a go can have join in too!

    The strangest thing I've ever seen played here is similar to the game at town fairs where you try to throw rings/hoops through a vertical bar. I've seen this done on a human scale, where the rings are made of velvet rope and the "vertical bar" in this case is your head/neck.

    Best to go early in the morning if you want to see more of this, since most locals come here for morning exercise and the like.

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    Danbi Stairway Stone Carvings

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 8, 2009

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    The huge 3-tier round stone terrace of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests has 8 stairways. The central parts of the stairways facing north and south are decorated with stone bas-reliefs named "Two Dragons over Mountains and Seas", "Two Phoenixes over Mountains and Seas" and "Auspicious Clouds over Mountains and Seas" respectively from the upper to the lowest level.

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    Imperial Hall of Heaven

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 8, 2009

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    This building lies just to the north of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and was the "Heavenly Warehouse" of the Altar of Prayer for Harvests. The tablet of the God of Heaven and the tablets of the emperor's ancestors to be displayed and worshipped during the ceremony held in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests were kept here. The day before the ceremony, the emperor came here to burn incense sticks and perform divine greetings. Then the officials of the Ministry of Rites transferred the tablets to their appropriate places in the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. The hall placard bears an inscription in the handwriting of Emperor Jiajing (1522-1566).

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    Seventy year old door

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 8, 2009

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    In 1779, when Emperor Qianlong was 70 years old, he felt his health was failing, so the officials of the Ministry of Rituals suggested opening a small door in the wall west of the Imperial Hall of Heaven so as to shorten the distance of his walk to the ceremony. But out of fear that his offspring would abuse this convenience, he issued a decree saying, "From now on only he among my offspring can enter and exit by this door who has reached the age of 70", hence its name. None of the later emperors reached this age and so Emperor Qianlong was the only person to have used this door.

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    Firewood Stove

    by Willettsworld Written Aug 8, 2009

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    The Firewood Stove is a huge round green glazed brick stove. Before the ceremony of praying for harvests began, a washed and shaved calf was put in the stove and burnt with pine twigs and reeds in order to welcome the God of Heaven - "a ritual of Giving a Warm Welcome to the Imperial God by Burning Firewood". After the ceremony, all the offerings, ceremonial placards and silk scrolls were transferred to the stove and burnt while the emperor stood and watched.

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