Temple of Heaven

1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng Qu, China, 100061

This complex of Taoist religious buildings was constructed in the early 15th century under the Yongle Emperor, who also commissioned the Forbidden City, just to the north. The temple’s central building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a 38-meter-high (125-foot), three-tiered structure atop a three-tiered marble base. The wooden hall was built entirely without nails. Inside, the beautifully painted walls and ceiling make it a riot of color. On spring and summer mornings and on sunny winter afternoons, locals gather here to sing, dance, play games such as mah-jongg, and sip tea while catching up on neighborhood gossip.

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Exploring New Heights in Beijing!

Tourists are sure to hit the Great Wall, Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square while visiting Beijing. But don’t miss the Temple of Heaven, located just south of the Forbidden City exit gates. It’s a beautiful walk through gardens and temples, which lead you high above the Beijing skyline. On a clear day, you can see past the Forbidden City, as ancient landmarks meet modern architecture. It’s a must see!

Day Trip to Heaven

Admiring China’s stunning architecture on a clear afternoon.

Heavenly Entrance

The Chinese surely know how to construct an entrance. This is the striking entryway into the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

The Iconic Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is a pretty well-known landmark of Beijing, and is, therefore, heavily touristed. All the same, it was certainly worth visiting. The temple itself is very ornate and beautiful, but beyond that was what we found interesting. The park ground surrounding the temple were a cultural window if you looked close enough. Locals gather to play board games, join impromptu choirs, or do dance lessons. There are people jumping, skipping, and singing as they walked through the green grounds. Taking it all in was a bit of a culture shock. Full Account Here: http://aliscottwhatwegetupto.blogspot.ca/2012/03/beijing-day-2.html

The Echo of Times

It was my last week in China after studying with a Qi Gong master and touring medical facilities that our group came to Beijing. This very spot fascinated me. Bending to speak into the rounded wall sent the sound right back to me into my other ear. Even a whisper could be heard. My mind was boggled.

Singing and Laughing

This man was one of my highlights in the entrance to Beijing‘s Temple of Heaven. Along the way, I took in the dominoes players, the entertainers, the dancers and the singers - all playing along to the crowd as their forefathers did hundreds of years before.

Finding a different kind of "harmony" in Beijing

I was wandering around Tiantan Park in Beijing when a sound in the distance beckoned me to investigate. The sound could be described as resonant, raw, and certain strokes were reminiscent of the twang I grew up on in the south. Finally, I recognized it as music. The song was given clarity as I came upon a group of Chinese men and women enjoying their leisure time endowed upon them as elders of the community. Instruments unidentifiable to me were creating a heartfelt melody that attracted many spectators. I felt a respect for these musicians, despite the occasionally piercing sounds they were producing. I appreciated their desire to come together in fellowship, to discover unity during these improvised compositions, and to remain active in spite of age. It was an inspiring moment - unexpected during a casual stroll through the park. After a prolonged moment of observing the gathering of musicians, I continued my exploration of Beijing. All the while humming that unforeseen “harmony” I had discovered earlier in the day.

The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is the the site of the most important of the four sacrificial altars of Imperial China. The Emperor came here to sacrifice to the god of heaven and pray for a good harvest. What was once a closed-off area, accessible only to a few, is now one of Beijing‘s prized, and sorely needed, green lungs. It is a wonderful place to spend the afternoon. It has something for everyone—teahouses, history, people-watching, and a playground. The ticket costs 30RMB and is a good value, as it includes entrance to the park as well as entrance to the hall of prayer for good harvest, the round altar, the echo wall, and the imperial vault of heaven. Entrance to just the park costs 10RMB. The park is considered a must-visit among those in know about China.

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