Architecture Features of The Temple of Heaven
occupying an area of 2,700,000 square meters (3,529,412 square yards), the Temple of Heaven is larger than the Forbidden City. Seen from above, the temple halls are round and the base square, shapes respectively symbolizing the heaven and earth.
The temple is enclosed by a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. 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 is square'.
The Temple is divided by two encircling walls into an inner part and outer part. The main buildings lie at the south and north ends of the middle axis of the inner part. The most magnificent buildings are the Circular Mound Altar (Huanqiutan), the Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian) from south to north.
The History of The Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven used to served as the sacred place where emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. First built in 1420, it is China's largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings.
Since it was open to the public as a park in 1988, the Temple of Heaven has attracted millions of travelers because of its grand architectural style and profound cultural connotation. This places offers a great chance for visitors to learn about the Chinese ancient philosophy, history and religion, as well as gives an insight into the practices of the ancient Eastern civilization.
Together with the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Summer Palace, The Temple of Heaven is the must see in Beijing to explore the ancient history of China.