In-depth Travel Along The Central Axis | The Temple of Heaven


Heading south along the central axis and turning east onto Tiantan Road, you will arrive at the towering Qiniandian (Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests). Under the sunlight, the golden roof shines brightly. This is the Temple of Heaven.

It was first built in the 18th year of the Ming Dynasty's Yongle reign (AD1420). The overall architecture is orderly, with a Chinese character "回" shaped layout, divided into the inner altar and outer altar. The southern wall of the altar is square, while the northern wall is round, symbolizing “the heaven is round and the earth is square”. To the south, there are the Circular Mound Altar and the Imperial Vault of Heaven, while to the north, there stand the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Hall of the Heavenly King, and the Palace of Abstinence. In the outer altar, there are the Divine Music Administration, the cypress and pine groves. It was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties offered sacrifices to the heavens and prayed for good harvests, and it is also the largest existing architectural complex in the world for worshipping the heavens.