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

With an area of about 2,700,000 sqm, Temple of Heaven is much bigger than the Forbidden City and smaller than the Summer Palace, which is a very worthwhile visiting place in Beijing. This temple, which was built in 1420 A. D during the Ming Dynasty, was used to pray for the Heaven by Emperors for good harvest. The whole temple is enclosed with a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens, while the square southern part symbolizing the earth, besides, the northern part is higher than the southern part, which means the ancient china thought of 'The heaven is round and the earth is square'.

Meanwhile the enclosed walls divided the temple into two parts, inner part, and outer part, and the main buildings lie at the south and north ends along the axis line in the inner part, such as Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian) in the north, Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) in the middle, Circular Mound Altar (Yuanqiutan) in the south, Three Echo Stones and Echo Wall etc. Besides, most of the buildings are connected by the Vermilion Steps Bridge (Danbiqiao), also known as Scared Way(If you want to have a deep idea of Scared Way, Onlinechiantours highly suggest to have a half day trip to the Scared Ways of Ming 13 Tombs, which is preserved well and could reflect the culture of the Scared Way fully).


Circular Altar

 

Circular Altar, which has three layered terraces with white marble, is the place the emperors offer sacrifice. In the ancient China, when the day of Winter Solstice comes, the emperors would host a ceremony to thank Heaven and hope everything would be good in the future in the Circular Altar.

 

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest


The most important structure in the Temple of Heaven must be the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, which is the name card of this temple. This huge hall, which has round roof and three layers of eaves, is supported by 28 huge posts. The roof, which is covered with black, yellow and green colored glaze, represents the heavens, the earth and everything on earth. The 4 posts along the inner circle represent four seasons, the 12 post along the middle circle represent the 12 months, and the 12 posts along the outer circle represent 12 Shichen (Shichen is a ways of counting time in ancient China, one Shichen equals to two hours and a whole day was divided into 12 Shichens.

 

Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu)

 
The Structure, which is made of bricks and timber, is like the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, but smaller in size. Here was the place that used to place the memorial tablets of Gods.

The Vermilion Steps Bridge, which connects the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and the Imperial Vault of Heaven with lower south end and higher north end, is called the Scared Way for the emperors believed that they could go to heaven through this bridge. On the two sides of the Scared Way, there are two routes called Yu Route and Wang Route, the former one is only for the emperors and the later one is for the princes and the high officials to pass.

 

Echo Wall


The 193 meters’ long Echo Wall, which encloses the Imperial Vault of Heaven, is a interesting place to hear the echo when your friends and you standing separately at the east and the west roots.



Echo Stones


Echo Stones, which is located outside of the gate of the Imperial Vault of Heaven, is a funny place to hear the echo, when standing on the second and then the third stone; you can hear two and three echoes separately.

There are many interesting places nearby the Temple of Heaven, such as blocks away Taoranting Park, Beijing Museum of Natural History to the west gate of the Temple of Heaven. Onlinechinatours highly suggest you to have a look at the nearby Hongqiao Pearl Market, where you can find numerous pearls, Chinese paintings, clothes on sale. However, bargain is also a must. You can take Subway line 5 and get off at the Tiantan Dongmen Station, and then take Exit A, you will find the Hongqiao Pearl Market located on the other side of the road.


Temple of Heaven Notes

Entrance Fee   
Nov.1-Mar.31 (next year): CNY 10    Apr.1-Oct.31: CNY 15
The Hall of Ceremonial Music and the Hall of Abstinence   
Nov.1-Mar.31 (next year): CNY 10    Apr.1-Oct.31: CNY 10
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Circular Mound Altar and the Echo Wall   
Nov.1-Mar.31 (next year): CNY20    Apr.1-Oct.31: CNY 20
Combination Ticket (including The Hall of Ceremonial Music, The Hall of Abstinence, The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, The Circular Mound Altar and The Echo Wall)   
Nov.1-Mar.31 (next year): CNY 30    Apr.1-Oct.31: CNY 35

Opening Hours: 06:00-22:00
From Mar.1 to Jun. 30: Combination Ticket unavailable after 16:00; Scenic Spot Ticket unavailable after 17:00; Scenic Spots closed at 17:30.
From Jul. 1 to Oct.31: Combination Ticket unavailable after 16:30; Scenic Spot Ticket unavailable after 17:30; Scenic Spots closed at 18:00.
From Nov.1 to Feb.28/29 (next year): Combination Ticket unavailable after 15:30; Scenic Spot Ticket unavailable after 16:30; Scenic Spots closed at 17:00.

By subway
Subway Line 5: get off at Tiantan Dongmen Station, Leave from Exit A and you'll find the East Gate of the Park of Temple of Heaven.

By bus
Take bus 36, 53, 120, 122, 525, 610, 800 (Inside), 803 or 958 and get off at Tiantan Nanmen (South Gate) Station.
Take bus 6, 34, 35, 36 , 106, 110, 687, 707, or 743 and get off at Tiantan Beimen (North Gate) Station.
Take bus 6, 34, 35, 36, 39, 41, 43, 60, 116, 610, 707, 723, 743, 957, or 958 and get off at Tiantan Dongmen (East Gate) Station.
Take bus 2, 7, 15, 17, 20, 69, 105, 707, 729, or 826 and get off at Tiantan Ximen (West Gate) Station.

Temple of Heaven Remark