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Temple of Heaven > Beijing > Places To Go > Home

Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is the largest existing ancient sacrificial architectural complex and listed as a World Heritage Site. It used to serve as a venue where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties offered sacrifice to the heavens. After constant reorganization and expansion, it was finally finished during the reign of the Qianlong Emperor. The Temple of Heaven is composed of the Circular Mound Altar and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, with two layers of surrounding walls. The northern wall is circular; while the southern wall is vertical to the eastern and western walls, forming a square shape. Such an architectural style featuring a square southern part and a round northern part is collectively known as the “Walls of Heaven and Earth” and symbolizes the ancient Chinese belief that the heavens are round and the Earth square.

In the Temple of Heaven, not only can one appreciate the exquisite structure of various palaces and recapture the grand occasion of ancient emperors offering sacrifice to the heavens, but also appreciate the ingenious design of the Echo Wall and Triple Sound Stones, which makes people wonder in awe at the wisdom of the ancient Chinese. On the flagstone-paved path from the Imperial Vault of Heaven to the gate, from north to south, there are three flagstones, called the Triple Sound Stones. With the door and windows of the Imperial Vault of Heaven closed and no surrounding obstruction, if one stands on the first flagstone and claps, they can hear one echo; standing on the second flagstone and clapping produces two echoes and standing on the third flagstone and clapping produces three echoes.

Travel Tips

Address:No. A1, Tiantan East Road of Dongcheng District, Beijing City

Transportation:1. Bus: Get off at Tiantan South Gate stop, Tiantan North Gate stop or Tiantan West Gate stop. 2. Subway:Take Subway Line 5 and get off at the Tiantan East Gate Station and then walk on foot.

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