Beijing 148 – Temple of Heaven (天坛)

Temple of Heaven Beijing

The Most Beautiful Temple in Beijing – Temple of Heaven

Just down the road from our hotel, Temple of Heaven (天坛), literally the Altar of Heaven, which was built in the Ming dynasty in 1420 stood tall at the southeastern Beijing. This medieval complex of religious buildings was used by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest. Since 1998, this historic site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I’d been here a couple of times before (previous post here) and always love this temple, especially on a clear blue sky. Big Teddy likes the fact the park is huge (with an area of 2,700,000 square meters, it is actually larger than the Forbidden City) and he could run around it the next morning from our hotel. There’s a nominal charge for park entry (RMB10-20 depending which how many parts of the park you would like to visit). The park itself is open daily from 6:00 – 22:00. The relic sites inside the park (i.e. Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest (祈年殿), the Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇), Circular Mound Altar (园丘坛) and Fasting Palace (斋宫) etc) open at 8:00 and close at 17:30 from March 1 to June 30, 18:00 from July 1 to October 31, and 17:00 from November 1 to February 28. Top attractions and must-see sites are the Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest and the Circular Mound Altar. The Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest is the earliest building of the Temple of Heaven, where the emperor held the worship ceremonies to pray for good weather and abundant harvests. Meanwhile, the Circular Mound Altar is where the emperors would offer sacrifice here to Heaven on the day of the Winter Solstice every year.

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My typical itinerary will be a morning stroll around the temple from the north gate and head out the south gate for hot pot lunch at Nan Men Shuan Rou (南门涮肉) (full review here). This is the best way to experience this historical site in my opinion… What about you? Have you been to the Temple of Heaven?

Temple of Heaven
Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest (祈年殿)
Temple of Heaven
Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest (祈年殿)
Temple of Heaven
Inside the Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest (祈年殿)
Temple of Heaven
Hall of Prayers for Good Harvest (祈年殿)
Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven
Circular Mound Altar (园丘坛)
Temple of Heaven
Circular Mound Altar (园丘坛)

Address: 1 Tiantan E Rd, Dongcheng, Beijing, China (北京东城天坛路甲1号)

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Temple of Heaven Beijing

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