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The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven

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Built in the early 15th century, the Temple of Heaven is a complex of magnificent religious buildings in the heart of Beijing, set in the 267 hectares of the Temple of Heaven Park. The temple perfectly displays the unity of Confucian design, the layout of the buildings placed to symbolise the relationship between earth and heaven and the complex as a whole to promote balance and harmony.

Technically an alter rather than a temple, the site was used by the Ming and Qing dynasties for biannual ceremonies where the emperor, as ‘Son of Heaven’, would pray for a good harvest at the beautiful Hall of Prayer. Surrounding the temple are extensive grounds dotted with groves of old trees, gardens and walkways, which are used by local people to gather and practice Tai Chi, play chess or socialise. The Temple of Heaven was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.   

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