A historic site in Beijing, the Temple of Heaven was officially declared as the World Heritage Site in 1998. It is actually a complex of religious buildings where the reigning kings used to offer prayers to the heavens for good harvest & prosperity. The temple complex comprises of 3 main religious buildings:
Hall Of Prayers
The Hall Of Prayers is a sacrificial altar set in the middle of the complex & is considered to be one of biggest altars in China. The ancient kings used to come here to pray to the gods in heaven for rains and good harvest. One interesting fact about this structure is that it is completely made of wood & no nails were used in its construction.
Imperial Vault Of Heaven
Though it resembles the Hall Of Prayers, it is smaller in size & is surrounded by a circular wall referred to as Echo Wall. The wall is so called as it can transmit sound over long distances.
Circular Mound Altar
Built on 3 levels of marbles, the Circular Mound Altar also referred to as the Round Altar is located to the south of the Imperial Vault Of Heaven. The geometry of the temple revolves around number 9 which is considered very sacred by the Chinese.
The Temple of Heaven is considered a masterpiece in terms of its superb architecture and landscape design.
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