Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Beijing, China - Temple of Heaven

This is a UNESCO world heritage site and is listed as "Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing". It is located in Tiantan Park.  Per UNESCO, it was founded in the first half of the 15th Century and is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods. In its overall layout and that of its individual buildings, it symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven - the human world and God's world - which stands at the center of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship.

The Temple of Heaven is a masterpiece of ancient Chinese culture and is the most representative work of numerous sacrificial buildings in China.  The write-up on UNESCO's site gives more details:

The remaining text are my personal observations.

This is the entranceway.  A lot of people were in the long covered boardwalk to the right of the photo.

  The buildings and walkway were well maintained.

 The roofline was colorful and interesting.

 When we entered the area, the round Temple was on a square raised platform. This symbolizes that heaven is round and earth is square.

 Drainage manhole covers.

 There were not crowded, so there was no need to use the roped off areas.
 The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests.

Inside the Temple of Heaven.

 Another view of the Prayer Hall

 Another round of photos of the Temple for floor level.

 I really have no idea what this was used for.
 A little girl and her father pose for pictures.

 We walked outside of the complex and sat along the covered boardwalk.  There were other tourists.

 The boardwalk area is a great gathering place and you will see a lot of people playing games.

The Temple of Heaven tour was complete, and we were on our way for tea.

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