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Temple of Heaven is a special altar used by emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties to worship heaven, pray for rain and pray for a good harvest. It's located at the southern end of Beijing, a little east of Beijing's central axis, with a total area of ​​approximately 2.73 million square meters. The architectural complex is full of mystery, solemnity and ancient atmosphere, which attracts the attention of tourists from all over the world.

Building Style
The altar area is round in the north and square in the south, which means "the sky is round and the place is square". It embodies ancient Chinese cosmology and political philosophy. The entire Temple of Heaven is divided into two parts: the inner altar and the outer altar. The two parts are separated by two encircling walls.

The major three buildings in the inner altar are: the Circular Mound Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. These three buildings form a triangle, symbolizing the unity of heaven, earth and men. Among them, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is the most important building and is used to hold heaven-sacrifice ceremonies every winter solstice. The Imperial Vault is a building used to store animals, and the Circular Mound Altar is the place where the emperor worships.

In the outer altar, there are scenic spots such as the promenade, echo wall and triple-sound stone. On the stone road between the front of the Imperial Vault Hall and the gate, there are three stone slabs from north to south called Triple-sound Stone. When the doors and windows of the Imperial Vault are closed and there are no obstacles nearby, if you stand on the first stone slab and clap, you can hear one echo; if you clap on the second stone slab, you can hear two echoes; on the third stone slab, you can hear two echoes. High-five, three echoes can be heard.

Cultural Connotation

The main function of the Temple of Heaven is to offer sacrifices to the gods and express reverence and gratitude to the nature of heaven and earth. This kind of worship and sacrifice to heaven is one of the important features of the ancient Chinese monarchy. Through sacrifices, the emperor could show to the gods that his rule was recognized and supported by the gods, thus consolidating his authority.

Art Value

The architectural art of the Temple of Heaven is highly valued. Its unique architectural style, exquisite structure and gorgeous decoration fully reflect the superb level of ancient Chinese craftsmanship. In particular, the design of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, with its round roof, three-layer platform and blue glazed tiles, is full of strong religious color and royal style.

Travel Tips

Transportation: Tiantan Park has convenient transportation and can be reached in many ways. For example, take Metro Line 5  or 14 to the "Tiantan East Gate" station and exit from Exit D (Southwest Exit).

Tour route: The layout of the scenic spots in the Temple of Heaven is relatively neat, so no matter which door you enter from, you can visit it all without looking back. There are three tour routes to the Temple of Heaven Park, namely 1-hour, 2-hour and 3-hour routes. Depending on your time and interests, you can choose the appropriate route. Generally speaking, the 3-hour route is relatively complete and in-depth, allowing you to visit all the main attractions and learn about the history and culture of the Temple of Heaven. The 2-hour route is relatively simple and fast. You can visit some of the main attractions and feel the momentum and beauty of the Temple of Heaven. The 1-hour route is relatively simple and rough. You can only visit the core of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and experience the atmosphere and style of the Temple of Heaven.

3-hour route: East Gate - Danbi Bridge - Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests - Huangqian Hall - East and West Side Halls - Circular Mound - Zhai Palace - South Gate

2-hour route: East Gate - Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests - Baihua Gardens - Echo Wall - Circular Mound - South Gate

1-hour route: North Gate - Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests - North Gate

Opening hours: It is open all year round. The park is open from 6:00-21:00 every day; the attractions are open from 8:00-17:30 (closed at 17:00 in winter). It is recommended that you visit in the morning or afternoon to avoid the peak crowds and strong sunlight at noon.

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