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Beijing Temple of HeavenSituated in the southeast of Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven（天坛）was used to be a complex of sacrificial buildings for the Ming and Qing emperors. It also has been one of the most holy places for the whole country from more than five centuries. It is the largest existing one in Beijing among several royal altars to Heaven, Earth, the Sun, the Moon and other deities or symbolic forces of Nature.
The Temple of Tiantan was originally constructed in the eighteenth year of Yong Le (1420), Ming Dynasty, but was given its current name during the reign of Ming Emperor JiaJing (reign: 1522-1567), who built separate complexes for the earth, sun and moon.
The north part of the temple looks like a roundness and the south is like a square. Surrounded by an outer wall of 5 km, it covers an area of 273 hectares, thrice the size of the Forbidden City. It is divided into the Inner Temple (Neitan) and the Outer Temple (Waitan) by a double wall. Main buildings assemble in the inner part, including the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests(Qiniandian), the Hall of Imperial Zenity (Huangqiandian), the Circular Mound (Huanqiu) the Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu), the Palace of Abstinence (Zhaigong), Beamless Hall (Wuliangdian), Long Corridor (Changlang) etc.
There is also the Echo Wall (Huiyinbi), Triple-sound Stone (Sanyinshi), Seven Star Ston (Qixingshi) etc. Temple of Heaven combines the architecture technology of Ming and Qing Dynasties together. It is rare Chinese ancient architecture and the largest sacrifice complex in the world. In 1998, the United Nations Educational Scientiffic and Culture Organzation listed it into the "Dirctory of World Heritage".
If you go to the Temple of Heaven in the early morning, you can see groups of people practicing all types of kung fu and taiji. You can lso practice with them if you are so inclined. This is another good activity for the jetlagged.
Add.: east of Tianqiao, Dongcheng District
Ticket Price: RMB10 off season; RMB15 on season
Opening Time: 06:00-22:00 for Gate; 08:00 for the internal scenic spots.
Bus Routes: Take Bus No.17,36,120,203, te11, or kuai1, get off at Tiantan Station.
Take Bus No.6,34,35,36,106,110,687 or 707, get off at Tiantian North Station.
Take Bus No.2,20,71,826,69,504 or 729, get off at Tiantian West Station
Take Bus No. 525,610,814,120,112 or 208, get off at Tiantan South Staton
Subway: take Sulway Line5, get off at Tiantan East Station.
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