Temple of Heaven Beijing - China June.2014
The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for a good harvest. The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor of Ming Dynasty, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. It is currently located in Dongcheng Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. Jia ging also built three other prominent temples in Beijing, the Temple of the Sun in the east, the Temple of Earth in the north, and the Temple of Moon in the west. The Temple of Heaven was renovated in the 18th century under the Qianlong Emperor. In ancient China, the Emperor of China was regarded as the Son of Heaven, who administered earthly matters on behalf of, and representing, heavenly authority. The temple was built for these ceremonies, mostly comprising prayers for good harvests. Twice a year the Emperor and all his retinue would move from the Forbidden City through Beijing to encamp within the complex, wearing special robes and abstaining from eating meat. No ordinary Chinese was allowed to view this procession or the following ceremony. In the temple complex the Emperor would personally pray to Heaven for good harvests. The highpoint of the ceremony at the winter solstice was performed by the Emperor on the Earthly Mount. The ceremony had to be perfectly completed; it was widely held that the smallest of mistakes would constitute a bad omen for the whole nation in the coming year. Earth was represented by a square and Heaven by a circle; several features of the temple complex symbolize the connection of Heaven and Earth, of circle and square. The whole temple complex is surrounded by two cordons of walls; the outer wall has a taller, semi-circular northern end, representing Heaven, and a shorter, rectangular southern end, representing the Earth. Both the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and the Circular Mound Altar are round, each standing on a square yard, again representing Heaven and Earth. The number nine represents the Emperor and is evident in the design of the Circular Mound Altar: a single round marmor plate is surrounded by a ring of nine plates, then a ring of 18 plates, and so on for a total of nine surrounding rings, the outermost having 9x9 plates. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests has four inner, twelve middle and twelve outer pillars, representing the four seasons, twelve months and twelve traditional Chinese hours respectively. Combined together, the twelve middle and twelve outer pillars represent the traditional solar terms. All the buildings within the Temple have special dark blue roof tiles, representing the Heaven. The Seven-Star Stone Group, east of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, represents the seven peaks of Taishan Mountain, a place of Heaven worship in classical China. There are four main supportive, dragon pillars each representing a season. The structure, held up by these dragons, imitates the style of an ancient Chinese royal palace. Twelve inner pillars symbolize the lunar months, and it is thought that the twelve outer pillars refer to the 12 two-hour periods of the day. The Temple of Heaven was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 and was described as "a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design which simply and graphically illustrates a cosmogony of great importance for the evolution of one of the world's great civilizations..." as the symbolic layout and design of the Temple of Heaven had a profound influence on architecture and planning in the Far East over many centuries. (Source:wikipedia.org)
"My goal today is Tiantan Park and the Temple of Heaven in it. They said it would be better for me to take the bus after breakfast at the hotel. I came up in front of him with the bus 120 line. The parks in Beijing are amazing. They are very big and there are a lot of people performing in them. Those who write on the ground with water with beautiful calligraphic characters, those who sing and dance to accordion music. They look like ordinary people, but both their voices and dances show that they are trained. Everyone has come to have a good time, maybe they made friends. After visiting the temple of heaven, I came back with hay 120. In addition to the driver, four people work on the municipal buses, including a security guard, a ticket operator, and an officer who gives information with an announcement. They are trying to employ everyone with this method. When an old couple got on the bus from one of the stops, the bus attendant removed a young couple from their places to prevent them from standing. They do not leave it to the initiative of the people, they remind them of their responsibilities. 3.July.2014"