Imperial Hall of Heaven (Huang Qian Dian), Temple of Heaven
Iconic Site and Active Park
The Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) is more than just a historic site. It showcases part of the daily life of the average Beijinger. Every day of the week, morning and evening, Beijingers from every walk of life can be seen here socializing, playing cards, dancing, doing tai chi, and just enjoying life. Beijingers are very friendly and you will be invited to join in the activities. Take the time. You will be glad you did.
Temple of Heaven, Hall of Prayer For Good Harvest, Beijing
The Temple of Heaven was the most important temple during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Unique in its layout and architecture, it is not like anything you have seen before. The main buildings are round, painted red on the bottom, with intricately painted beams supporting large round blue-tiled roofs. Within the temple complex you will see round shapes representing heaven and square shapes representing earth. The number nine, the most important odd number in Chinese cosmology, is also utilized in the temple's construction.
Seven Star Stones
Temple Of Heaven, Outer Building
Construction for the temple began in 1420, when Ming Emperor Yongle moved the capitol from Nanjing to Beijing, and is modeled after a similar one in Nanjing. The Temple of Heaven was used by the emperors annually to worship the God of Heaven, and pray for a good harvest. Since Chinese emperors were considered to be direct descendants from heaven, it was important to perform worship rituals.
UNESCO listed the Temple of Heaven as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1998. Take the time to wander the complex and read the signs. There is so much to see and learn here.
Window Lattice Star Gate (Lingxingmen)
Emperor Qianlong's Seventy-Year-Old Door
Every year, during Spring Festival, a formal ceremony takes place to ensure a good harvest for the coming year.