The Temple Of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven is located just a short distance
from the Forbidden City. Built in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty,
today this complex is the largest series of ancient Chinese sacrificial
structure in China. If you thought the Forbidden City was large,
then you are in for a surprise. The Temple of Heaven complex is
at least 3 times the size of the Forbidden City.
The Temple area is surrounded by two walls; one
round and one that is square. In order to symbolize Heaven and Earth
the northern portion of the temple complex is circular and elevated.
The southern portion is laid out on a square grid. This design shows
that the heaven is high and the earth is low and the design reflected
an ancient Chinese thought of 'The heaven is round and the earth
The most important buildings in the Temple of Heaven
are the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvest, the Imperial Vault of
Heaven, and the Circular Mound Altar.
It was at the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvest
where Ming and Qing emperors prayed for bountiful harvest. The Imperial
Vault of Heaven was used to hold items for critical for worship.
At the Circular Mount Altar is the location where emperors made
prayers to heaven. In the heart of the building is a circular stone
called the Center of Heaven Stone.
Besides some impressive buildings, the Temple of
Heaven is also home to well over 60,000 cypress trees.
to the Top