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Altar of Night Moon

a beautiful lake in YuetanThe altars in Beijing were one of the most important parts of the imperial building architecture in China throughout ancient Chinese dynasties. According to the history, the ceremonies for worshipping the God were normally taken place at the outskirts of the capital in those altars. Beside Temple of Heaven (the famous one), other one important altars has called Xiyuetan (Altar of Night Moon).

Overview about Altar of Night Moon
Altar of Night Moon was used as the sacred place for emperors of Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) to worship and offer sacrifices to the God of Moon. Located at west of Nan lishi Road, Xicheng District, Beijing, Altar of Night Moon built in 1531 and was originally a temple for imperial sacrifices to the Moon. In 1955, it was opened to public with the name of Yuetan Park or Xiyuetan Park. After years were reopened, the park enlarged and now has covering a total area of 8.12 hectares. The park was rebuilt and reconstructing temple walls, sacred paths and altars for performing rituals, repairing ancient relics as well as planting pine trees everywhere for restored the magnificence of the altar and temple.

Some new scenic spots include Changong (Toad Palace), TianXiangyuan (Courtyard of Heavenly Fragrance), Lanyueting (Pavilion of Enjoying the Moon), Yueguiting (Laurel Pavilion) were built in the park. On May 25, 2006, as the ancient architecture from the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty, Yuetan Park was approved as a national cultural relic protection unit.

Activities in Yuetan Park
Yuetan Park is divided into North Park and South Park and attracts so many locals every day. The great thing about this park is foreigner who does not know about local culture and life style, they could have a bit images here. In the morning, the park filled with local practicing taichi, or just chatting with others. If you are really lucky, you might catches small group of elder singing or dancing.

Address: No. 6 Yuetan North Street, Xicheng District
Telephone: 0086-10-68020940
Ticket: RMB 1
Transportation: Bus 15, 19, 42, 56, 743, 13 and get off at Yuetan Garden North Gate

Altar of Night Moon Tour
As the most famous sacrificial altar in Beijing, Temple of Heaven is an ideal place to visit after the tour to Altar of Night Moon. Tourists could pay a visit to Temple of Heaven, the largest existing complex of ancient sacrificial buildings in China.