Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

            The Temple of Heaven, also called the Altar of Heaven, is the largest temple of its kind in China. It was built in 1420 and both the Ming and the Qing Dynasty they used to pray for harvest in spring and thank goodness for the fruits in autumn. It is actually a group of buildings: to the north is situated the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest; at south, the Circular Mound Altar and the Imperial Vault of Heaven. The set is surrounded by an inner and outer wall.

            The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is the most representative building, and is the one in the middle. It is a circular building, built on three circular terraces of white marble. The room has a triple roof built with blue tiles and is topped by a golden ball in its dome. The building is made of wood. The Circular Mound Altar is an open construction consisting of three concentric terraces surrounded by white marble railings. The Imperial Vault of Heaven is where the emperors paid homage to their ancestors.
Chinese architecture is characterized by distributing the space into rectangular units that come together to form a whole all. Chinese style combines rectangles of different sizes in different positions according to the importance of the organization of the whole all. They use Feng shui, a Chinese system of aesthetics ancient Taoists used to help to improve life.
In traditional Chinese architecture, the distribution of the units is ruled by the principles of balance and symmetry. The secondary structures are located on both sides of the axis of symmetry forming the central courtyard and the main rooms. The distribution of outer space reflects Chinese social and ethical values.
China is the main cultural center of East Asia, centered in the basins of the Hoang-ho and Yang-tse-kiang rivers. Chinese art has been more uniform than the Western evolution. Chinese equally valued calligraphy, ceramics, silk and porcelain with architecture, painting and sculpture.

         In conclusion, the set of buildings of the Temple of Heaven is one of the most representative complexes in China, and it is a monument known worldwide for its beauty as well as being very inspiring.
It is located in the Tiantan Gongyuan Park, south of the city of Beijing, China.

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