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Unveil Mystery of Temple of Heaven

One of the most famous landmarks of historic Beijing, larger than the imperial palace, the Temple of Heaven makes for a perfect alternative to the Forbidden City while visiting Beijing. A visit to the Temple of Heaven Park allows you to get a good feel of the historic relic and learn more about Chinese traditional architecture and art.

Temple of Heaven

Fascinating History of Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was built in 1420 under the order of the Ming emperor Yongle, the eighteenth year of his reign. Back then the capital city was removed from Nanjing to Beijing by the emperor Yongle and the Temple of Heaven was modeled after a similar temple site in Nanjing. The Temple of Heaven was rebuilt and expanded in Qing Dynasty under the reign of emperor Jiaqing in 1530. The historic site used to be a place used by emperors annually to hold ceremonies for worshiping the God of Heaven and praying for good harvests. Normally the emperor is to visit the site two times every year, first taking place on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month and the second on the winter solstice. If there happens to be a drought taking place in summer, the emperor would pay another visit to the site to perform rituals to pray for more rain. Seeing themselves as sons of heaven, Chinese emperors show their respect to heaven by performing worship rituals. Later, the site was opened to the public by the Chinese government in 1918.

Significant Influence on Chinese Culture
Inside the huge park complex, the Temple of Heaven, or Tian Tian Gongyuan in Chinese, there are a large number of ancient sights - most impressive is no doubt its odd architecture. To take a walk down to the park is an enjoyable way to spend a leisurely morning or afternoon. A visit to the Temple of Heaven allows you to get a good look at the site of imperial offerings and rites to the heavenly gods during Ming and Qing dynasties. Visitors to the park can also get a good glimpse of the imperial gardens and unique architecture. Considering its significant historic value, UNESCO added the Temple of Heaven into the list of World Cultural Heritage Site in 1998. The complex site features unique layout and architecture. Most of the architecture is round-shaped and painted red on the bottom, with large round blue-tiled roofs supported by painted beams.

Overall, Temple of Heaven Park makes for a great break from the city noises while visiting Beijing.