Larger than the iconic Forbidden City but still smaller than the Summer Palace, Beijing’s Temple of Heaven is sprawled across the Chinese capital in an area of about 2,700,000 square meters. Ideally located within the Xuanwu district, the structure was first built in the period between 1406-1420 by the same emperor who fashioned the
Main highlights within the temple ground include The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests which consists of a towering triple-gabled spherical building, 38 meters high and 32 meters thick. Constructed on three marble stone based levels, it is interesting to note that this entirely wooden structure has not used a single nail to bind its elements together. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests was used by emperors in its heyday to invoke the heavens to bestow a bountiful harvest for the year. The equally impressive Imperial Vault of Heaven stands as a single gabled round shaped building located in the Hall of Prayer. Smaller, but in no way less grand, it is encircled by a polished circular wall called the Echo Wall which has the capacity to reverberate sounds across large distances. With a parameter of 193 meters, this is an attraction that has garnered much popularity due to its echo capabilities. Located to the south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven lies the Circular Mound Altar which is a round shaped platform constructed on three marble stone levels. This is the site used by monarchs to appeal to the heavens for good weather conditions conducive to agriculture. The three echo stones are another point of interest in addition to the
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