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
  • agaiax's Profile Photo

    Tian Tan at 6 am

    by agaiax Written Sep 6, 2004

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    Another great and beautiful monument of Cinese architecture and landscape architecture.
    But what I really liked were the people there. I visited Tiantan couple of times and the best time to visit is early in the morning. They open at 6 am and if you want to experience the life of park (and not just see the temple) this is the best time to enter. There are groups of (mostly elderly) people walking, exercising, tai chi exercising (with swords an fans), taking their birds for a walk, dancing, playing, talking... socialising. It is great! Not like in my hometown, where older people stay home, watch tv, feel lonely and deppressed. It's really beutiful and uplifting.
    And if you feel like it - you're always wellcome to join.
    The park opens at 6 am and closes at 7.30 pm. You can buy a ticket just for the park (I think it's only 10 or 15 RMB) or you can buy a whole ticket including the entrance fee for the temple commplex for 35 RMB. No student disscounts.

    Writting characters with water
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  • claudia1975's Profile Photo

    People Watching in Beijing Parks 1

    by claudia1975 Updated Jan 23, 2005

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    You are in a park. You hear some music. You walk to where the sounds are coming from. You notice that there are several groups of people playing different kinds of music and they are all sitting close to each other. The result is an interesting (dis-harmonic) symphony of Er-Hus (traditional Chinese instrument), old ladies singing opera songs, men drumming and some playing violin. But it is very cute to watch that they like to stay with other people to share their music and to not be alone. So they prefer a mixture of sounds. It is incredible how much joy is radiating out of many peoples eyes - despite the rollercoaster Chinese history many of them have gone through. If you find skilled players, an Er-Hu concert can really be a treat. For these music "performances" on the week-ends, I found the park at the "Temple of Heaven" south of Tian an men a good place.

    Old guys playing Erhu and dancing
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    Offering to Heaven

    by SLLiew Written Aug 16, 2006

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    This temple for the annual offering and sacrifice rituals to the heaven by the Emperor for a good harvest for the country.

    We walked along the path that the Emperor would have walked up to the altar. The temple itself is exquisite and symmetrical beauty in proportion. There are also Manchu inscriptions inside the temple reminding that the last dynasty in China were foreigners - Manchus who became Chinese.

    I really love the architecture - the Temple of Heaven.

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    The Temple of Heaven Park

    by ValbyDK Updated Apr 26, 2010

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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.

    Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest Temple of Heaven The Circular Mound Altar The Red Stairway Bridge The Seven-Star Rocks
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    The Fasting Palace

    by schwein Updated Feb 15, 2008

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    Access to the Fasting Palace comes with another ticket bought while inside of the Temple of Heaven. Ticket price is another 10 yuan, on top of the 30 yuan ticket needed to get onto the Temple grounds.

    The Fasting Palace is where the emperor stayed for three days prior to the sacrificial rights being performed.
    While here, he abstained from meat, drink, women, music, and work affairs. (Must have been a pretty boring three days!)

    The palace is surrounded by double walls, and a double moat, to ensure the emperors safety from fire and assasination attempts.

    The Fasting Palace The Fasting Palace The Fasting Palace The Fasting Palace The Fasting Palace
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  • claudia1975's Profile Photo

    People Watching in Beijing's Parks 2

    by claudia1975 Updated Jan 23, 2005

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    Another interesting activity you will find in parks and gardens like the ones mentioned above but also around the summer palace or within tiny local greens in residential areas are some "Outdoor Fitness Studios". They are a mixture of playgrounds for kids and muscle training machines for adults and they are commonly frequented by guys and ladies of all ages. Usually people dont wear sports clothes and just practise a little bit in their every day wear. The funny thing is that mostly faces look quite unmotivated and you are not sure if the person is doing these activities for fun, for muscles, for boredom or just because he she happened to pass by.

    However, I found that sports is a good activity to start a conversation with people. When you watch two people in a park playing Badminton or another ball game, it might happen easily that they ask you to join or try it for a few minutes. Also in these muscle-playgrounds it is easy to get to know some local persons.

    Body building Chinese style
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  • schwein's Profile Photo

    Divine Music Administration

    by schwein Written Feb 12, 2008

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    The Divine Music Administration is in the westernmost building located on the Temple of Heaven grounds.

    This building is where the sacrificial music was rehearsed, and where performers were trained.
    It's known as the temple of divine music because, during the Ming dynasty, the performers were all Taoists.

    It's now a museum, showcasing and selling many traditional musical instruments. Neat to walk through!

    They also have performances twice a day, letting you hear the traditional music.

    Divine Music Administration Divine Music Administration
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  • lindyz's Profile Photo

    Temple of Heaven

    by lindyz Updated Oct 2, 2009

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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!"

    In front of the main temple A rather large door Common little kids pants for easy access Walking up to main buildings Lady doing a balancing stick thing

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  • SLLiew's Profile Photo

    Temple of Heaven - Symmetrical simplicity beauty

    by SLLiew Written Sep 20, 2008

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    In this second visit, I appreciate more the symmetry and simplicity of this important imperial temple.

    There are several major buildings along a north-south axis of symmetry.

    There are as many foreign and local tourists as well as local Beijingers who use the gardens for recreation, daily excercises as well as daily meeting places.

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  • albaaust's Profile Photo

    Chance to see the real thing not a stamp!!

    by albaaust Updated Feb 10, 2007

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    If you collect stamps like we do you will want to see this site up close. This tourist icon like many throughout China is actually in a walled, large park area which contains a number of significant buildings not just the “Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests”.

    Originally, the site for used for sacrificing and praying for good harvests. There is a long corridor which links the Divine Kitchen and Butcher House as well as pavillions, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, a circular mound altar, the Danbi Bridge and a number of inner celestial gates. You could easily spend all day here like many local Chinese seem to do.

    To get see the Temple of Heavenly Peace catch the subway to Chongwenmen take C exit. Turn right, keep on walking 20 mins till you get to intersection of 4 roads and an over pass. You will see the Pearl Market (Qiao Pearl Market) opposite. Keep walking and you will get to the west gate. When we went we did not realise the west gate just a lttle further on and instead turned right and walked around the wall to the south gate. However, we did get to walk through and see most of the complex on our way to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.

    Plan of the area Inside the Hall
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  • honestjohn's Profile Photo

    the Temple of Heaven

    by honestjohn Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

    Prayer Hall

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  • herzog63's Profile Photo

    Temple of Heaven

    by herzog63 Written Sep 24, 2003

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    The Temple of Heaven was one of my favorite sights that I visited in Beijing! The park that it's set in is a great place to relax or go for a walk and maybe meet some locals.
    The original building was built in 1530. Look under the ceiling when you go inside. It is really beautiful. For some reason I didn't take a photo of it. I wish I had.

    Temple of Heaven
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  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    The Temple of Heaven Park

    by mikelisaanna Updated Jul 5, 2008

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    The Temple of Heaven Complex covers an area of more than 2 1/2 square kilometers. Surrounding the temple buildings is a large park, which is one of the nicest open spaces in Central Beiijing. It is a pleasant place to walk through, especially in the morning. You are likely to see people practicing Tai-Chi, dancers and muscians rehearsing, and retired men playing cards and other games. We even saw a man taking his birds (in their cages) for a walk.

    Dancers practicing in the Temple of Heaven Park Trees and lawns in the Temple of Heaven park A man walking his birds in the park A musician practicing in the park
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    You just MUST SEE the Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan)

    by Confucius Written Jul 4, 2003

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    How can one list the must see attractions in Beijing and forget the Temple of Heaven? This splendid icon of China with its conical roof and lavish interior epitomizes the genius of Chinese architecture during the Ming dynasty. There's also the circular Echo Wall behind the main hall and further south you'll see the Round Altar where animals were sacrificed during winter solstice ceremonies.
    Any knucklehead can pile a stack of bricks and build the Great Wall, (in fact the Ming emperors did that too) but this entire complex was carefully designed by feng shui masters with significant geometrics involving Chinese cosmology. Oh yeah, they also did that building in my photo without using any nails!

    Beijing's Temple of Heaven is 1 of 4 must sees
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  • cal6060's Profile Photo

    UNESCO: The Temple Of Heaven

    by cal6060 Updated Aug 1, 2012

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    The Temple of Heaven is located southeast of Center Beijing. It was a Taoist temple where Ming and Qing emperors came here for the ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. This temple complex was constructed between 1406-1420 by Yongle Emperor.

    This is a must-visit place in Beijing. It was inexpensive to get in as comparing to other museums and parks in China. We went in though the North Gate, and walked a huge green park. We visited the Hall of Payer Good Harvest, Hall of Imperial Heaven and East Annex Hall.

    In the middle part, we walked through the Vermilion Steps Bridgesbefore entering Chengzhen Gate. Imperial Vault of Heaven was a beautiful temple we saw when entering Chengzhen Gate. We saw this 500 year old juniper. It continued with the Echo Wall, and the huge open field with an center round viewing deck. Then we exit through the South Gate.

    I recommend you to take at least 5 to 6 hours to enjoy it all. Beautiful gardens and parks .. not to miss...

    If you have extra time, don't miss other attractions in the Park.

    In Chinese: 天坛 (Tian Tan)

    Admission: Y35

    Temple of Heaven, Beijing Temple of Heaven, Beijing Temple of Heaven, Beijing Temple of Heaven, Beijing Temple of Heaven, Beijing
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