"Heven Temple" Temple of Heaven Tip by zwack
Temple of Heaven, Beijing: 229 reviews and 504 photos
Tiantan Park is an icon of such enduring value that it shorthand the entire city. The park's classic Ming architecture gives it heaps of symbolic value and the name has been used to brand products from tiger balm to plumbing fixtures, as well as decorating a plethora of tourist literature. It's set in a 267hectares (660acres) park, with four gates at the cardinal points, and abounded by walls to the north and east. It originally functioned as a vast stage for solemn rites and rituals. All of the buildings in the park, including the Round Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests are tangible conversations between the gods and mortals. Unlike the 'she'll be right, mate' chookpens slapped together by Uncle Nev, these buildings are carefully thought out paeans to ancient gods and beliefs; fengshui, numerology, cosmology and religion all played a part in their original construction, and the result is an awesome display of god in the architecture and the devil in the detail. Tiantan Park remains an important meeting place and many city dwellers start the day with a spot of t'ai chi, dancing or game-playing in the park. By 9am the park reverts to being just a park so get there early if you want to see what Beijingers do before breakfast.
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