Temple of Heaven

The temple of Heaven is located to the East South of Peking, the Chinese Capital. It was built in 1430 as the avenue where the emperors of China who belonged to the Ming dynasty (1386 - 1644) and Qing dynasty (1644- 1911) used to present their offerings to the gods of Heaven and the gods of Earth. The Temple of Heaven is one of the most remarkable visits in any China tours.

In 1530, the Temple of Earth was constructed to be a place specified for the emperors to present the offerings to the gods of the earth. This was why the complex was titled as the Temple of Heaven and Earth.

Twenty two Chinese emperors have visited the Temple of Heaven during this period to present offerings to the gods.

The Temple of Heaven is a huge complex with around 2.7 million square meters. This is why it is considered to be the largest religious building in China nowadays. The surface area of the Temple of Heaven is four times bigger than the Imperial palace or the Forbidden City located in Peking. This is why it is included in any China vacations.

It was actually logic that the residence of the sun of the Heaven, the emperor, would be smaller than the Temple of Heaven, the residence of god, according to the old Chinese methodology.

Peking also hosts the Temple of the Sun in the East and the Temple of the Moon in the West. However, the Temple of Heaven remains as the most important and most elegant among all of these.

Recognizing the historical and architectural importance of the Temple of Heaven, the UNESCO has added it to the list of World Heritage in 1998.

The UNESCO in its description of the Temple of Heaven has stated that “The Temple of Heaven is 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”. This proves that the temple of Heaven is a magnificent distinctive piece of architectural art that hundreds of tourists who travel to China visit it every day   

There are two set of walls surrounding the Temple of Heaven dividing it into the outer alter and the inner outer which is usually considered as the heart of the Temple of Heaven.

The Northern Walls of the Temple of Heaven looks has a shape of some adequate and it intersects with the Western and Eastern walls. This section of the walls takes the shape of "the circular heaven and the square earth".

This is why this section of the walls is called "the walls of the Heaven and the Walls". The ancient Chinese have believed that the Heaven or the sky has a round shape that covers the square shaped earth.

The main structures of the complex of the Temple of Heaven are located to the South and the North of the axial line of the walls surrounding the whole complex.

The Altar of Yuantsu, or the Imperial Vault of Heaven was where the emperor used to present the offerings to the gods asking for a good harvest season.  The Emperor of ancient China had to organize a big ceremony where many offerings where presented to the gods to grant them with weather conditions that are suitable for cultivating their lands.

The second interesting structure of the Temple of Heaven is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and it is one of the major buildings of the temple of Heaven built in the year 1420.

The structure has a circular with three levels of marble stone base shape with gold coated ceiling. The most amazing feature of this structure was that it was erected out of wood purely with no steel, iron, or even any sort of bricks. This structure in particular grabs the attention of tourists who come to spend their vacations in China

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests has four columns representing the four seasons of the year and another 24 smaller columns on each of its sides representing the 12 months and 12 time units which each resembles two hours of our time .

Unfortunately, all of the original components of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests were actually destroyed because of lighting that hit the structure in 1889 and the whole structure was rebuilt once again quite similar to the original ancient building.However, many travelers coming to spend their holidays in China must visit the Temple of Heaven as part of their travel package.

The splendid architectural designs of the buildings of the Temple of Heaven made the complex an amazing historical center of arts in the whole world. This is where the heaven, or the sky, harmonizes with the people.

This was how many architects and historians have described the Temple of Heaven. Historians believe that the Temple of Heaven a factual documentation for the ancient Chinese architectural works and how it synchronize together with the environment.

A large number of different types of trees surround the Temple of Heaven. The dark green color was the symbol of respect and prayer for ancient Chinese. This is why the guest sees a large number of trees in any ancient Chinese temples, tombs, or altars visited by many travelers as part of their China tour.

There are more than 186 hectares of different plants and more than 60 thousand trees inside the complex of the Temple of Heaven, with more than four thousand ancient trees.

Therefore, the Temple of Heaven is considered to be the largest forestation all around the city of Peking. The Temple of Heaven has larger quantities of trees and plants than any other parks in the Chinese Capital. This is why the Temple of Heaven plays a vital role in improving the environmental conditions of the city.

Any custom tour to China would usually include a visit to the Temple of Heaven, the Forbidden City, and many other historical sites around Peking

The Temple of Heaven has different weather conditions than these of the rest of the city of Peking. The temperature in the summer inside the complex is usually five to six digress less than the rest of the city and the humidity is usually higher by approximately 10 degrees. Many affordable tours can be organized to visit the Temple of heaven in the summer.

Many important figures from the around the world have noted, when they visited the Temple of Heaven, that their countries can erect structures like these but they can never build these ancient strong trees. These trees make the gardens of the Temple of heaven the best place for any family who travels to China to relax and enjoy their time

Many group tours to China include a visit to the Temple of Heaven that has been transformed starting the year 1971 into a huge natural park in Peking. The restoration works of the temple, implemented by the Chinese authorities are carried out according to an accurate schedule.

Many problems have appeared in the different structures of the temple with long periods of time passing by like the stirring of some bricks and the distortion to some wall and ceilings paintings.

This was why the Chinese government has carried out a complete comprehensive restoration mission in the Temple of Heaven that started in October 2004. This restoration mission covered more than 6000 square meters of the overall surface area of the Temple of Heaven.

There was also another restoration mission that has started the repairing works in 2006. The Chinese authorities knowing the cultural, historical, and touristic importance of such a monument restore the Temple of Heaven periodically