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Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Temple of Heaven, Beijing


The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

A little bit of history to start the blog, The Temple of Heaven was built between 1406 -1420 by the Ming Emperor YongLe and was originally called The Temple of Heaven and Earth, until a new temple of Earth was built in North Beijing. There are also Temples of Sun and Moon in the east and West of Beijing. As there is plenty of material available on the Internet about all of the main tourist attractions in Beijing that is all the history I am going to give you here, and just let you wander around with me and see what I saw on my visit.


The tree lined walk


North Heaven Gate


We approached the Temple from the North by means of a long tree lined path, either side of which is a beautiful park, we thought we would explore that later but as is often the way we didn’t get back there. We passed through the North Heaven Gate and I was amazed to find that although it was about 1pm there really weren’t too many people milling around. I didn’t know that most people approach the Temple from the South, as we walked round the building we found the crowds!



The white balustrades are all made of marble.

The main building is The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, as you can see it is a wonderful building, built entirely of wood, and no nails! There are amazing views from here over Modern Beijing. The Temple underwent a major restoration which was completed in 2006, I think you will agree a fantastic job was done. I love the painting on the buildings, I was happy to find ‘curly roofs’ and my daughter explained about the animals which can be seen on the corners of the major buildings. The number of animals on the corners of the buildings denotes the importance of that particular building. It was great fun spotting the animals and counting them, the highest number is 10, and I have photos to prove it, any ideas where I saw the building with 10 animals on each corner? Look out for future blogs to find the answer if you can’t already guess!


Five animals on this building.



Looking down from the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, the red in the foreground is a stage, so there must have been a performance later in the day.





beautifully decorated pillars inside the buildings.

I ought to point out that you are not allowed into any of the buildings, all the interior photos were taken from the open doorways, which my camera was not totally happy with, but at least you can get an idea of the interiors from my photos.


Looking over Beijing.



More painting detail on the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests





The marble pavements between the stairs.




Seven animals!


Note the discoloured bumps on the doorway at about hand height, everyone touches these for good luck!

As this has turned out to have more photos than I first thought I will split this blog into 2 parts, I will upload the next one later today or tomorrow!

To be continued………



  1. fascinating architecture and SUCH beauty! LOVE the animals on the roof - learned something new today! that round hall is just gorgeous. can't wait to see more of these beautiful shots! :)

  2. Wow! the artichitecture is so beautiful awsome , the animals on the roof I just love. I think I would have stood there with my mouth open so pretty and eye catching, to say the least. MARVELLOUS Poppy thank you and look forward to see more hugs Sheila x:)

  3. Wonderful place to visit, thanks for the tour, look forward to the next adventure.