The Temple of Earth is situated North of The Forbidden City, and is one of the four main Temples of importance to the Emperors. The Temple of Earth was originally used for sacrifices, and is built in a square plot, which to the Chinese represents Earth.
We arrived at the park at about tea time, paid our entry fee, and decided to look round The Earth God Worship House before going to see the 'Earth Mound'.
The Earth God Worship House holds many interesting items, I loved the animals above
and the dragon handles on what I assume are bells.
Looking up the once glorious ceiling is now looking very weathered, but beautiful none the less :)
A beautiful rattle drum, the dragon decoration symbolizes the Emperor's power.
The Rattle Drum is suspended from a central post, at the base of this are four of these amazing animals, probably Foo dogs (Guardian Lions)
A beautiful pot, yellow and gold are the Emperor's colours, they are my favourite colours too.
I was especially pleased to see these items, they are usually seen on the roofs of Imperial buildings, to see them close up was a real treat.
A wonderful dragon on a golden roof tile,
These are two of the animal ridge tiles seen on the corners of important buildings, with the lead man on his mount. I was thrilled to see these close up, as I find them fascinating :)
I am not sure of the importance of these duck like animals, but I liked them :)
Dragons on these, I think they were instruments of some sort, they are suspended on ropes, I imagine they were struck with a gong or something similar, but I am not sure.
A mobile throne for the Emperor, he would have have been carried almost everywhere in a throne like this. Note the Emperor's golden covered cushion :)
When we left the building we walked across to the entrance to the main area of the Temple, only to find that that area was just about to close! So we didn't get to see the square Altar :( It looks like I shall just have to go and visit my daughter again and make sure I get to see the central part of the Temple.
However the beautiful park that houses the Temple was open much later so we had a lovely cool walk, and we sat and had a lovely rest and watched the world go by :)
I love these round doorways, when I see them I wonder if Tolkein got his idea of Hobbit Houses having round front doors from these gateways in China?
There were beds of glorious peonies in the park, this was just one of them, a perfect bloom.
Another gorgeous marble bridge.
We were lucky enough to see some blossom still on the trees.
So pretty :)
Finally a view across part of the Temple grounds, this was the Apothecary Garden.
The Temple of Earth was certainly worth a visit, the park is a lovely peaceful place, not at all crowded, with beautiful flowers and trees. I would like to explore more one day :)