The temple of heaven which is located on the east side of Yongdingmennei Street in the south of Beijing is the largest
temple compound in China. It was originally where the emperor of Ming and Qing Dynasties offered sacrifices to
heaven and prayed for a good harvest.
The main architectures of the Temple of Heaven include the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Circular Altar, the Echo
Wall, and the Hall for the Prayer of Good Harvests and the Three Sound Stone, etc. It is enclosed by two walls.
The southern wall is square while the northern wall is curved, which stands for the traditional Chinese conception
of the round heaven and the square earth.
The Imperial Vault of Heaven is a round architecture with golden eaves, blue tiles and a pointed top. The Imperial
Vault of Heaven contained tables of the emperor’s ancestors that were used in the solstice ceremony.
The Hall for the Prayer of Good Harvests was called the Daxiang Hall that means enjoying sacrifices and Dasi Hall
that means offering sacrifices to ancestors or gods.The lower part of the hall is three round terraces has golden eaves
and its roof is covered with dark blue glazed tiles.
The Temple of Heaven was regarded as a very holy place for emperor communicating with heaven in ancient China.
In modern China, the Temple of Heaven is one of the symbols of Beijing and a key cultural relic under state protection.
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