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Home: Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven, also known as Tian Tan, an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998, is surely one of the great historical sites to visit. The Temple of Heaven is located in the southern part of Beijing, in Xuanwu District. The temple was built in 1420 for emperors to worship Heaven.

The great complex of the Temple of Heaven is in a large park, the total area of Temple of Heaven is 273 hectares, it is actually bigger than the Forbidden City.

The whole temple complex is surrounded by two enclosed walls, the northern part of the temple is circular while the southern part is square, and the northern part is higher than the southern part. The design reflect the ancient Chinese belief that Heaven is round and Earth is square.

The principle buildings include the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests(Qinian Dian), Imperial Vault of Heaven (Huangqiongyu) and Circular Mound Altar (Yuanqiu Tan). The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is the main building in the complex and one of the most famous Beijing symbols. Both the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and the Circular Mound Altar are round, each standing on a square yard, again representing Heaven and Earth.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, built on 3 levels of marble stone base. The Vermilion Steps Bridge (Danbi Qiao) connects the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest and the Imperial Vault of Heaven. A circular wall of polished bricks known as the Echo Wall encloses the Imperial Vault of Heaven. The Circular Mount Altar, south to the Imperial Vault of Heaven, is where the emperor prayed to heaven. At the center lies a round stone called the Three Echo Stones that echoes when a visitor speaks loudly when standing on the stone.

Travel Tips:

Get there early in the morning so you can see locals dancing, practicing Tai Chi, playing games or simply spending time with their families.

Admission Fee: through ticket: RMB 30 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31); RMB 35 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31); Park ticket only: RMB 15. You need to buy a through ticket if you want to visit all the buildings of the temple. The other ticket is just for people who want to go to the park. The audio guide was worthwhile too. (Rent:RMB 40;Deposit:RMB 100)
Opening Hours: 6:00 to 20:00, but the ticket offices and major sights are only open from 8:00-16:00
Directions: The east gate -- By subway line 5 "Tiantan Dongmen", exit A.
Temple of Heaven Tourist Map: http://en.tiantanpark.com/newEbiz1/en100tiantanparkres/images/dlqtt.jpg
Website of the Temple of Heaven: www.tiantanpark.com

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