Temple of Heaven
Temple of Heaven (天坛; Tiāntán) is located in the southern part of Beijing. It covers an area of 270,000 square meters, and it is a group of buildings of exceptional architectural beauty. The emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties prayed there every year for a good harvest which was the largest fortune of agricultural China and offered sacrifices to the gods. This religious building which was erected to the gods of heaven is the largest complex dedicated to sacrifice on the territory of present-day China. Originally, this temple was built in 1420 and initially was the Temple of Heaven and Earth. Its architecture is divided into two parts separated by a wall – Inner Temple (Neitan) and Outer Temple (Waitan). It was built by the Emperor Yongle from the Ming Dynasty. Visiting the temple is not only about the sights and historic monuments, but also the enjoyment of peace and calmness, nature, recreation and relaxation of the body and mind. However, if you want to enjoy it fully, the best time to go there is early in the morning, when locals practice tai chi, dancing and singing traditional Chinese opera. This temple has many important parts and buildings within, and it is quite important to pay attention to each of them. Out of the most important are the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Imperial Vault of Heaven and Circular Mound Altar. The beauty of this temple is the part of, not just Chinese tradition and culture, but also the world’s heritage, which is why it is included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. With its architecture and the beauty, this religious complex is a masterpiece of a human need to reach divine heights and achieve harmony with the nature that surrounds it. It offers peace and inner serenity and it is an inevitable place for tourists who decide to visit Beijing.
Enjoy Temple of Heaven with our step by step walking tour: