|1 hours 30 mins|
|06:30 AM - 10:00 PM|
Temple & Monument
Temple of Heaven is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Temple of Heaven is special ?
The Temple of Heaven Park is located in the Chongwen District, Beijing. Originally, this was the place where emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. It is China's largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings. First built in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), it was enlarged and rebuilt during the reigns of the Ming emperor Jiajing and the Qing emperor Qianlong. In 1988, it was opened to the public as a park, showing ancient philosophy, history and religion. Its grand architectural style and profound cultural connotation give an insight into the practices of the ancient Eastern civilization.
What to explore at Temple of Heaven?
There are over 60,000 varieties of tree. The most famous tree is the grandfather tree - a 500-year-old Nine-Dragon Cypress with branches like nine dragons winding with each other. These trees create a quiet environment and an ideal resort for the locals to do their morning exercise. Residents living near the this place enjoy many activities here, such as running, cycling, singing, dancing, playing chess, flying kites, etc. You can become involved personally in these activities and experience the leisure pursuits of local people.
How to get to Temple of Heaven?
Subway Line 5: get off at Tiantan Dongmen Station, Leave from Exit A and you'll find the East Gate of the Park.
Take bus 6, 34, 35, 36, 39, 41, 43, 60, 116, 610, 707, 723, 743, 957, or 958 and get off at Tiantan Dongmen (East Gate) Station.
Take bus 36 (环), 53, 120, 122, 525, 610, 800 (内), 803 or 958 and get off at Tiantan Nanmen (South Gate) Station.
Take bus 2, 7, 15, 17, 20, 69, 105, 707, 729, or 826 and get off at Tiantan Ximen (West Gate) Station.
Take bus 6, 34, 35, 36 (环), 106, 110, 687, 707, or 743 and get off at Tiantan Beimen (North Gate) Station.
- The most holy of Beijing's imperial temples
- The World Cultural Relics by the UNESCO.
- Masterpiece of architecture and landscape design
- The Mystical Design
- An ancestral Worship place.
1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng, Beijing, China
Tips for you
We stayed in Beijing for 8 days stayed at two hotels at the 2nd ring of the subway for easy access by public transportation to all the many attractions. It was very easy to explore Beijing with public transportation. It is cheap and you can feel the pulse of how the ordinary folk in Beijing went about leading their daily life. Among the many imperial treasures I visited in Beijing, the Temple of Heaven impressed me the most with her spectacularly stunning architecture in particularly the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. The structure of the Hall was constructed with wooden material without a single nail being used. I am impressed by the perfectly symmetrical equilibrium of the majestic temple hall structure and the beauty of the structure reflects the superior architectural brilliance and talented workmanship of precision in carpentry and construction design in an era when science and technology was still backward. It was constructed in the medieval period between 1406 and 1420 during the Ming Dynasty and when the Industrial Revolution in the West has yet to set in. The Temple Prayer Hall was meant for Imperial sacrificial ritual ceremonies to pray for Good Harvest and reflects the aristocratic political philosophy of the time. The three-tier Circular Mount Altar with 9 concentric rings of stone slabs was where the Emperor pray at the Heavenly Center Stone for divine intervention and received mandate from Heaven for his legitimate rule. Sad to say that despite such heavenly prayers, the Ming Dynasty collapsed and over-ruled by the Manchus and despite continual sincere prayers by the last few Manchu emperors, Beijing collapsed and the temple was plundered and destroyed by the invading Anglo-French alliance during the Second Opium War and under the forces of the Eight Alliances in 1900. The dying aristocrats should have spent more efforts on modernization and embarked on `Meiji Restoration' like programs which the Japanese did in the face of foreign technological superiority rather than helplessly praying for divine intervention and direction. I also noticed the Seven Star Stones where Emperor Qianlong added another star to signify an united China including Manchuria as one of the stars. The superiority of the Chinese culture subdued most foreign efforts to dominate China. The Mongols conquered China but adopted Chinese culture and practices under Kublai Khan. The Manchu rulers dominated China but assimilated Chinese culture and ruled China in an unique Chinese style without disrupting the cultural roots. The Japanese and Western powers attempted to impose their values and aggression but met with strong and relentless resistance. There is this invisible pervasive cultural influence that continue to glue and unite China as a cohesive entity despite any foreign domination and attempt to tear apart China. It is in the culture and the Temple of Heaven is an iconic symbol of this 5000 yr of ancient civilization that remarkably made it an unique UNESCO cultural heritage site.
Historical site and a local park. If you can come here before 7am, you can experience the locals retired daily life.