The Temple of Heaven introduction and travel guide-China Discount Hotels Reservation Service

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The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of HeavenThe Temple of Heaven is situated in the southern part of Beijing, about 6 Km away from the center of the city. Traditionally, this temple was for imperial use only. It was built in 1420, covering an area of 273 hectares, it is the one of the largest parks in Beijing.

The Temple of Heaven was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshipped heaven and prayed for good harvests. The emperors visited the temple three times a year: on the 8th day of the first lunar month to pray for a good harvest; during the Summer Solstice to pray for rain; and during Winter Solstice to give thanks for a good harvest. During each ceremony, the emperors worshipped heaven and prayed for a good harvest. In addition, the emperors also worshipped their ancestors and other natural phenomena such as the Cloud God, Rain God and Wind God.

The Temple of HeavenIn imperial days, the Chinese people believed that the sky was in circular shape and the earth was square. On the basis of this traditional concept, the circle was widely adopted in the design of the temple's main building. It is in accord with people's imagination of heaven.

During past ceremonies each year, the Emperor left the Forbidden City through the Front Gate for the Temple of Heaven. No common people or foreigners were allowed to watch the Emperor's procession to the temple. They had to remain hidden behind closed doors and windows. Even women, including the Empress, were not allowed to take part in the procession.

Click here to see the map of the Temple of Heaven


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