Beijing Day 12: Temple of Heaven

My last full day in Beijing is dedicated to the Temple of Heaven which is a complex of religious buildings at the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex occupies an area of 2.7 square km; larger than the Forbidden City. It was a place where the emperor (son of heaven) gave thanks to heaven and prayed for good harvest for the following year.

The Temple of Heaven was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the Ming dynasty. It was inscribed as a UNESCO Heritage site in 1988.

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The park is opened to public in 1918. It becomes a popular place for people to gather for singing, exercising, socializing and past times.

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A corridor like those found in palaces with a colour scheme of blue to represent heaven.

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The most recognizable building in the complex is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. It is a circular building on a triple layered white marble terraces. This is where the emperor would offer sacrifice to the heaven on Winter Solstice.

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The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests has round roof with three layers of eaves. The circular roof symbolizes the sky and blue represents the color of heaven. The building is built completely in wood without the use of any nails. The original building was burned down by a fire caused by lightning in 1889 and it was re-built several years later. (more…)

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