Temple of Heaven, located in the Chongwen District of Beijing, was built in the 18th year of the reign of emperor Yongle of the Ming dynasty (AD 1420), which originally was a place for emperors to hold the worship ceremony for good harvest.
The whole complex covers an area of 2.7 million square meters, which is the largest and best-preserved altar complex in China. With its profound cultural connotation and magnificent architectural style, the Temple of Heaven has become a portrayal of ancient oriental civilization and a famous tourist attraction for visitors from home and abroad.
Basic Facts about the Temple of Heaven:
- The altar is round in the north and square in the south, which illustrates the basic theory of“Round sky and square earth” in ancient China. It can be divided into two parts– the inner altar and outer altar, and the main buildings are situated in the inner altar with four gates in four direction.
- The inner altar is divided into northern and southern parts, which are connected by a brick and stone platform with 360-meter-long and 30-meter-wide called Danbi Bridge. In the north, there is a place for praying good harvests in the Spring, and the main building there is Hall of prayer for good harvest; and in the south, there stands the Circular Mound Altar for doing heaven worship worship at the winter solstice.
- Located in the south side of the West Gate, there is the Hall of Abstinence which is an imperial residence for emperor to fast for one day. In the western outer altar, there is the Divine Music Administration that administrates the teaching, rehearsal and performance of some sacrifice rites.
- The main buildings inside the altar are the Hall of Imperial Zenith, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Echo Wall. The most interesting one is the Echo Wall, which is the surrounding wall of the Imperial Vault of Heaven. It is 3.72 meters high, 61.5 meters in diameter and 193 meters of the whole circumference. Even people whisper at the one side of the wall, their voices could be heard clearly at the other side through thick wall of 0.9 meters. So visitors here can make a conversation with your friend at different side and enjoy the fun of this mysterious architecture.
- Temple of Heaven is a treasure of ancient China architecture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, which is the largest altar complex in the world as well, and it was listed into the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1998.
How to Buy Entrance Tickets:
- Price of Entrance Tickets:
The ticket price of the Temple of Heaven is different in peak season (Apr. 1 to Oct.31) and low season (Nov.1 to Mar.31), and there is combo ticket includes entrance ticket, the Hall of prayer for good harvest, the Echo Wall and the Circular Mound Altar.
|Peak Season||Admission Fee: CNY 15; Combo Ticket: CNY 34|
|Low Season||Admission Fee: CNY 10; Combo Ticket: CNY 28|
|the Divine Music Administration||Admission Fee: CNY 10|
|Scenic spot Ticket
(Hall of prayer for good harvest, Echo Wall and Circular Mound Altar.)
When is the Best Time for Temple of Heaven Tour?
The best time to tour Temple of Heaven is Spring and Autumn as the weather in Autumn is pleasant and cozy. At the beginning of April, the apricot trees left from the Qing Dynasty blossom all over the garden. There are also abundant lilacs in the west side of the Hall of prayer for good harvest, which covers an area of about 6,000 square meters with more than 200 lilac trees.
Tips: Visitors had better avoid the official holidays in China, because many Chinese citizens choose to travel on official holidays. As a result, most Chinese tourist attractions are overcrowded and traffic jams are quite common.
Official Holidays in China
|Chinese New Year||Around January or February|
|Labor Day||May1st -3rd|
|Summer vacation(for students)||July-August31st|
|Mid-Autumn Festival||Around mid-September|
|National Day||October 1st-7th|
How to get to theTemple of Heaven?
- Visitors can take Bus No.6, No.34, No.35, No.36, No.39, No.43, No.60, No.116, 128, No.525, No.623 and No.684 andget off at the Temple of Heaven East Gate (Tiantan Dongmen) Station.
- Visitors canalso take Bus No.2, No.20, No.36, No.53, No.120, Night Bus No.2 and No.17 and get off at the Temple of Heaven West Gate (Tiantan Ximen) Station.
- Bus No.36, No.53, No.122, No.525, No.958, Te-11, Te-12, Night Bus No,20, Yuntong102 are available for tourists. Mind to get off at the Temple of Heaven South Gate (Tiantan nanmen) Station.
- It is available for tourists to take Bu No.6, No.34, No.35, No.36, No.72, No.106, No.110, Night Bus No.11, and then can get off at the Temple of Heaven North Gate (Tiantan Beimen) Station.
- It is convenient for tourists to take Subway line 5 and get off at the Temple of HeavenEast (Tiantan Dong) Station.
How to Tour theTemple of Heaven?
There are eight tour routes of the Summer Palace as follows.
- The tour route of half an hour
North Gate →the Hall of prayer for good harvest → North Gate
South Gate → the Circular Mound Altar → the Echo Wall → South Gate
- The tour route of an hour
South Gate → the Circular Mound Altar → the Echo Wall → the Nine-Dragon Cypress → Danbi Bridge → the Hall of prayer for good harvest → North Gate
North Gate → the Hall of prayer for good harvest→ Danbi Bridge→ the Nine-Dragon Cypress → the Echo Wall → the Circular Mound Altar → South Gate
East Gate → the Long Corridor → the Hall of prayer for good harvest→ Danbi Bridge → the Echo Wall → the Circular Mound Altar → South Gate
West Gate → the Hall of Abstinence → the Divine Music Administration → West Gate
- The tour route of two hour
South Gate → the Circular Mound Altar → the Echo Wall → the Nine-Dragon Cypress → Danbi Bridge → the Hall of prayer for good harvest → the Divine Music Administration → the Hall of Abstinence → West Gate
North Gate → the Hall of prayer for good harvest → Danbi Bridge → the Nine-Dragon Cypress → the Echo Wall → the Divine Music Administration →the Hall of Abstinence → West Gate