Covering an area of 273 hectare, the Temple of Heaven is one of the famous attractions in China located in the southeastern of the Forbidden City with 4 times bigger than the Forbidden City. It is a place to offer a sacrifice to supreme Ruler of Heaven in winter solstice for the emperors of the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. The distribution of the Temple of Haven shows “back” glyp and the altar wall is made with two sections: the inner altar and the outside altar, with the outside altar’s length totaling 6,416 meters and the inside altar 3,292 meters.
Travelling here, you will find that the Temple of Heaven is enclosed with a long wall, whose south part is square which symbolize the earth and the north semicircular symbolizing the heaven. The northern wall is higher than that of the southern part, which shows the heaven is high and the earth is low, it also reflects that the heaven is round while the earth square.
The main architecture of the Temple of Heaven gather at the axle wire of the inside altar, which is connected with a broad bridge called Vermilion Steps Bridge whose south end is lower than its north end, and from the south to north are the Circular Mound Altar (Yuanqiutan), Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest (Qiniandian). In addiction, there are ancient architectures and historical sites including the God Kitchen, the Animal-killing Pavilion and the Hall of the Abstinence, whose design are ingenious, color reconcile and architecture excellent.
Tips: 1) Ticket price: 10 RMB/adult for the slack season from 1st November to 31st March and 15 RMB/ adult for the peak season from 1st April to 31st October. 2) Opening time: 6 a.m. to 22 p.m. for the entrance gate, 8 a.m. for the inside attractions. 3) Best time to visit: spring and autumn; one advantage to visit in winter is you can experience the acoustic building of the Temple of Heaven. 4) Don’t miss the Three Echo Stones, Echo Wall and Nine-Dragon Cypress.