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Temple of Heaven

temple of heaven.jpg

Introduction
The Temple of Heaven, lies in southeastern part of Beijing City and it's a complex buildings for Taoist, it is regarded as a Taoist Temple. The Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties visited the complex annually when they prayed to Heaven for good harvests.The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed the Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. The Jiajing Emperor also built three other prominent temples in Beijing, the Temple of the Sun in the east, the Temple of the Earth in the north, and the Temple of the Moon in the west. The Temple of Heaven was renovated in the 18th century under the Qianlong Emperor. The Temple of Heaven was listed into the UNESCO World Heritage in 1998.

History
It was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the Ming Dynasty, the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing. The complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. Jiajing also built three other prominent temples in Beijing. The Temple of Heaven was renovated in the 18th century under the Qianlong Emperor. By then, the state budget was insufficient, so this was the last large-scale renovation of the temple complex in imperial times.

Temple of Heaven.jpegDuring the Second Opium War, the temple was occupied by the Anglo-French Alliance. And later, during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, the Eight Nation Alliance occupied the temple complex and turned it into the force's temporary command in Beijing, which lasted for one year. The occupation desecrated the temple and resulted in serious damage to the building complex and the garden. With the downfall of the Qing Dynasty, the temple was left un-managed. The neglect of the temple complex led to the collapse of several halls in the following years. In 1918, the temple opened to the public as a park in Beijing.

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."

What to see in Temple of Heaven
1.Circular Mound Altar
Circular Mound Altar.jpgThe Circular Mound Altar is located to the south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven. It is an open three-layered circular stone altar. During the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 - 1911), the emperors would offer sacrifice to Heaven on the day of the Winter Solstice every year. This ceremony was to thank heaven and hope everything would be good in the future. Founded in the 9th year of Emperor Jiajing (1530) of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), it is the very heart of the Temple of Heaven and thus it is also known as the Terrace of Worshipping Heaven.

2.Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests
The Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests is located in the northern part of the Temple of Heaven Park, where in ancient times the emperors held worship ceremonies to pray for good weather and abundant harvests. Built in 1420, the 18th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests is the earliest building complex of the Temple of Heaven. It consists of two main buildings, namely the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and the Imperial Hall of Heaven; and several subsidiary buildings including the Long Corridor, the Dressing Terrace, the Danbi Bridge, the Divine Kitchen, the Butcher Pavilion, the Seven Star Stone.

3.Palace of Abstinence
Hall of Abstinence.jpgThe Palace of Abstinence lies to the northwest of the Circular Mound Altar and next to the west gate of the Park of the Temple of Heaven. It was a place for the emperor to abstain from food before the Worshipping Heaven Ceremony started. It has several distinctive buildings, such as the Beamless Hall, the Rest Palace, and the Belfry. The articles in the buildings such as the throne, the screens and even Qianlong’s ink brushes, are all original and therefore very precious.


Information
How to get to Temple of Heaven
1.Bus Route:
Take bus No. 120, 122, 36, 525, 53, 958, Te 11, Te 3, Te 12, Yuntong 102, and get off at Tiantan Nanmen (South Gate) Station.
Take bus NO.120, 17, 2, 35, 36, 504, 53, 622, 69, 71, 72, 93, Te 11, and get off at Tiantan Ximen (West Gate) Station.
Take bus NO.106, 110, 34, 35, 36, 6, 72, and get off at Tiantan Beimen (North Gate) Station.

2.Subway Route:
Subway Line 5: get off at Tiantan Dongmen Station, Leave from Exit A and you'll find the East Gate of the Park. 

Admission Fee
1. Entrance Fee:CNY 10(Nov.1-Mar.31 (next year)); CNY 15(Apr.1-Oct.31).
2.Combination Ticket:CNY 30(Nov.1-Mar.31 (next year));CNY 35(Apr.1-Oct.31). (including the entrance fee, Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Circular Mound Altar & Echo Wall)

Opening Hours
1. North, East, South and West Gates are open from 06:30 to 22:00.Combination Ticket is unavailable after 15:30 at the four gates.(Nov.1-Mar.31 (next year)); CNY 15(Apr.1-Oct.31)
2.North, East, South and West Gates are open from 06:00 to 22:00.The main attractions are open from 08:00 to17:30. Combination Ticket is unavailable after 16:00 at the four gates.(Apr.1-Oct.31)

Time for Visiting: 1.5 hours

Tour The Temple of Heaven with Beijing Private Tour 
We will provide a private & spacious car and a local professional tour guide with over 5 years guiding experience only work for you or your group. You will be escorted during your tour. Transport, ticket, and dining (At some local restaurants popular with locals) all we will arrange for you according your requirements. Please check our most popular Beijing Tours including The Temple of Heaven as below: 

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Are the above sample tour programs not suitable for you? We have more Beijing tours. Our 
tours can be tailor-made based on your requirements and budget to create unique Beijing experiences that allow you to interact with the local people and culture. Our enthusiastic tour expert will promptly reply you in details within 24 hours.

Mosted Asked Questions about Temple of Heaven

1. How long does it take to visit the Temple of Heaven?

Normally, it takes 1-2 hour to visit the Temple of Heaven. The scenic area is divided into two parts – public park area and tourist area. The public area now serves as an entertaining and morning exercise place for locals, and is open from early morning to later night. People living near usually like to take exercise or take part in folk activities in the park, such as running, cycling, playing Tai Chi. You can spare some time to stroll leisurely in the park to get involved in the interested activities, or just experience the peaceful atmosphere of local people’s living.

2. Why was the Temple of Heaven constructed in Beijing? Any special fountaion for it?

The Temple of Heaven was for the Ming and Qing emperors were celebrating the rites and sacrifices to pay homage to Heaven and plead to give good harvests. His organization is linked to Chinese cosmology whose balance was based on the Emperor's attitude and respect for the rites. The colors, shapes, sounds and position of buildings representing this rather complex design of the universe.

3. Is it convenient to take subway to visit the Temple of Heaven on my own?

Yes, it is quite conventient to take subway to reach the Temple of Heaven, you can take Line 5 from downtown and get off at Tian Tan Dong Men Station ( the east gate of the Temple of Heaven), then walk about 800 meters to the ticket office. Or you can take subway line7,8 and 14 to get to the Temple of Heaven.

4. What are the top things to see in Temple of Heaven?

Temple of Heaven is one of the most important sites in Beijing, there are many spots you should visit when you take a tour to Temple of Heaven Park, such as the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Circular Mound Altar and Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Palace of Abstinence and the Bell Tower nearby, Pavilion of Immolation, Seventy-two Long Corridors and Seven Star Rocks.

5. When is the best time to visit the Temple of Heaven?

Temple of Heaven can be visited all year around, but the spring and autumn are the best time to visit since it less crowded and you can enjoy the best weather in Beijing. If you travel during the spring time, you can enjoy the beautiful flower blooming in the park, and the colorful natural scenery during the autumn. Winter will be a good option if you want to avoid the crowds. Please kindly note that the Temple of Heaven will be crowded during the Chinese holiday and summer vacation.

6. How to get to Temple of Heaven from Beijing West Train Station? I will travel from Shanghai to Beijing by high speed train.

There are several ways to travel from Beijing West Train Station to the Temple of Heaven Park, such as Taxi, Subway, City Bus and Private Transfer. If you know how to take subway, you can take line 7 from West train station and get off at Qiao Wan Station, follow the exit C, then walk about 800 meters from the subway station to reach the Temple of Heaven. You can also take city bus No. 122 & 53 from the south square of the train station and get off at Temple of Heaven. If you confused about the Beijing public transportation, you can take taxi or book a private transfer with Beijing local tour company.

7. How much is the entrance ticket for the Temple of Heaven? Do i need to book the Temple of Heaven tickets online or buy at ticket office once arrive?

The entrance fee for the Temple of Heaven is CNY15 per person. Actually, you don't need to book the ticket for the temple of heaven in advance since there won't too crowded during the normal time, you can purchase the ticket once you arrive at Temple of Heaven. If you travel with a tour company, the tour guide will handle the ticket for you.

8. I will land at Beijing Capital Airport at 13:30pm, cound you tell me the opening hours of the temple of heaven?

The opening hours for the Temple of Heaven are 06:00 ~ 20:00 (Apr. to Oct.) & 06:30 ~ 21:00 (Nov. to Mar.). You will have plenty of time to visit the Temple of Heaven, it takes around 40 mins from Beijing Capital International Airport without the traffic.

9. Can you arrange a Beijing tour that visit the temple in the afternoon plus Beijing city night tour?

Yes, we provide the customized Beijing tour based on your requirements. You can start your Beijing tour to visit the Teple of Heaven in the afternoon, and explore the night view of the Beijing city during the night time, such as sichahai scenic area, Nanluoguxiang Hutong, Bird's Nest & Water Cube from outside, even enjoy the cultural perfromance. With the hotel or train station pick up & drop off service by your personal tour guide, enjoy a comfortable vehicle between each spots and more.

10. Does Temple of Heaven has audio guides for rental like the other sites in Beijing? Do I need a tour guide to take me around or just do it on my own?

The Temple of Heaven has audio guides, you can rent the audio guide when you book the ticket. We highly recommend you hire a tour guide to take you around since it is not very self-explanatory. The Temple of Heaven was an important site in imperial sacrifices, and the site is full of symbolism. It helps to have some travel information about that.

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