Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Temple of Heaven

The following morning, we packed up our hotel room and decided to see a couple of the temples in Beijing before heading to Zhengzhou. Our first stop was the Temple of Heaven about 2 stops on the subway from our hostel.

When we arrived at the station, the map was entirely of Chinese so we chose a random exit and hoped it was correct. If it wasn't, we would take a taxi all the way there.

We wandered aimlessly for a full three seconds before finding the entrance of the temple.

It was directly outside of the subway exit, so we picked the correct exit.

The temple is actually a large park with a series of small temples inside of it.

The Temple of Heaven was built between 1406 and 1420 during the time of the same emperor who built the Forbidden City.

Here I am in shadow in front of the main temple building.
Here I am brighter in front of the main temple building.
Here was a wheelchair that could be pushed by miniature bicycle.

Here are some people playing hacky sack with what appears to be a shuttlecock.

This is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. The building is completely wooden, with no nails. They prayed for good harvests here.

As you can see, the smog and rain lifted at it was the perfect day. I just wish it could have been the perfect day the day before as well. Oh well.

Here's the inside of the Temple of Good Harvest.

Here are some dragons and the shadow of my head.

Here are older dragons and the shadow of my head.

There was a museum inside both of the buildings on either side of the temple, which were very helpful.

They said things like, "Emperor go to the Sacrificial Alter."

To offers a jade to heaven.

It was very beautiful.

We then went to the next temple, which looks similar but is smaller and had longer lines.

The side buildings were also smaller.

The smaller temple was called the Imperial Vault of Heaven

There are the lines to look inside the temple.

This is the entrance to the Circular Mound Altar, named because it is a circle that builds up into a mound.

Here is a dragon.

Here's another dragon.
And another.

It was a very beautiful temple and the gardens were very nice. You could see that the gardens would be beautiful in the spring, but spring had not quite arrived yet.

They also had western toilets, which was a nice surprise.

We then headed to the Llama Temple, which will be in the next blog post.

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