Temple of Heaven.
China is a land of architectural feats deeply imbued with tradition and meaning, and few places in Beijing stand as testament to this like the Temple of Heaven. First constructed in 1420, during the Ming Dynasty, the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan 天坛) stands south of Tian'anmen square and the Forbidden City. Five major components to the Temple Of Heaven complex are listed below.
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is a 40-meter tall, circular temple standing on a multi-tiered marble base and surrounded by small prayer halls. Its glazed blue tile roof is beautiful in all seasons, reflecting sunlight in summer, or extenuated by snow in the winter months.
The Imperial Vault of Heaven is surrounded by the Echo Wall, both standing 360 meters to the south of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. These structures stand at the mouth of the last large-scale installment.
The Circular Mound Altar is another three-tiered, circular marble structure built during the Ming Dynasty and restored and expanded by the Qing. Fraught with symbolic architecture, the center stone of the altar is surrounded by concentric rings of smooth marble. Each of these rings is an ascending factor of nine, one of the luckiest numbers in Chinese numerology.
The temples' various structures and the encompassing park total about 280 hectares of area within the city limits. This well-maintained and flourishing green space are the fifth and final marvel of this wonderful day-outing. Lavished with rose gardens, wide walkways, and trees dating back to the 1700’s, the park offers a bit of respite from the bustle of the city.
Best of all, it’s easily accessible by subway (line 5), bus (numerous lines leave from Qianmen/Tian'anmen), or taxi. The cost for entrance to all major sites is 30 RMB, while entrance to the green space itself can be obtained for a mere 10 RMB (including all gardens and outdoor venues, which are very popular from spring to autumn).