Temple of Heaven is located in the south-east of the Forbidden City. It covers an area of 273 hectares which is four times larger than the Forbidden City. It was used to hold a memorial ceremony for the God in Winter Solstice Festival and to pray for harvest in the first month of the lunar year by the emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties. It is China's existing largest structure for sacrifice to heaven.
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing was included in the World Heritage List in 1998. About the World Heritage Committee on the evaluation of the Temple of Heaven: Beijing Temple of Heaven was built in the first half of the AD 15th century. It is located in the royal gardens and surrounded by ancient pines. It is well-preserved Altars buildings. No matter in the whole layout or individual building, it reflects the relationship between heaven and the earth, and this relationship occupied a central position in the ancient Chinese cosmology. At the same time, these buildings reflect the emperors' unique role in this relationship.
?The reasons for the World Heritage:
1) The Temple of Heaven is one of the accumulation of the Chinese civilization.
2) The buildings in the Temple of Heaven everywhere show the specific meaning and a symbol of artistic expression in ancient China.
3) Temple of Heaven collects ancient philosophy, history, mathematics, mechanics, aesthetics, ecology together, it is the masterpiece of ancient times.
History of Temple of Heaven
According to historical records, the history of ancient Chinese activities of formal worship heaven and earth can be dated back to the second millennium BC, which was in the Xia Dynasty. Ancient Chinese emperors claimed to be the "Son of Heaven", they extremely respected the heaven. The history of each emperor regarded as a very important political activity of sacrifice the heaven and earth. And the worship building played a decisive role in the construction of imperial capital. They would concentrate manpower, material and financial resources to build to the highest technical level and the most perfect building.
|Temple of Heaven Travel Guide|
|Location||No.7 Tiantan Nei Dongli, Chongwen District, Beijing (about 4 km from the center of Beijing)|
|Highlights||1961- China's National key cultural relics protection units;1998 - Be included in the World Heritage List;2013 - China's existing largest structure for sacrifice to heaven.|
|Time for a Visit||about 1 hour|
|Opening Hours||Entrance door: 6:00 - 22:00Interior Attractions: 08:00-17:30 (March 1-June 30)08:00-18:00 (July 1-October 31)08:00-17:00 (November1-Feburary 28)|
|Subway||Subway Line 5: get off at Tiantan Dongmen Station.|
The construction of the Temple of Heaven was in the late feudal society, it was the most representative works in many worship buildings. Temple of Heaven is not only the pearl of ancient Chinese architecture, it is a gem of architectural history of the world. The Temple of Heaven was first built in Ming Dynasty Yongle 18 Year (1420). The Emperor Zhu Di used 14 years to finish the construction along with the construction of Forbidden City. It was named Temple of Heaven and Earth at that time. In Ming Dynasty Emperor Jiajing 9 Year (1530), it was renamed as the "Temple of Heaven". Through the reconstruction of the Qing Dynasty Qianlong Emperor and Guangxu Emperor, it hence formed of the existing pattern of the Temple of Heaven Park.
Temple of Heaven has the layout of the rectangular-ambulatory-plane, consisting of two altar wall which is divided into the inner altar and the outer altar. The outside altar wall has the total length of 6416 m and the inner wall has the total length of 3292 m. The southernmost wall is square which symbolizes the earth, the most northern wall is semi-circular which is a symbol of the heaven. High in the north and low in the south means high in the heaven and low in the earth, also means orbicular sky and rectangular earth.
The main building of the Temple of Heaven focuses on the northern and southern ends of the altar in the axis, which is linked by a wide Danbi Bridge; and from south to north, there is the Circular Mound Altar, Imperial Heavenly Vault, etc. which are cleverly designed and superbly constructed.