The Temple of Heaven, find in the first half of the 15th century, is a stately compound of fine cult buildings set in gardens and nearby historic pine woods. In its overall design and that of its individual buildings, it represent the connection between earth and heaven – the human world and God’s world – which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the major role played by the emperors within that connection.
The Temple of Heaven is the main presentation of Circular Mound Altar to the south open to the sky with the conically roofed Imperial Vault of Heaven is instant to its north. This is linked by a raised sacred way to the round, three-tiered, conically roofed Hall of Prayer for Good reap additional to the north. Here at these places the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties as interlocutors between mankind and the heavenly kingdom offered sacrifice to heaven and prayed for bumper harvests. To the west is the Hall of sobriety where the Emperor fasted after making the sacrifice.
The whole is surrounded by a double-walled, pine-treed compound. Between the inner and outer walls to the west are the Divine Music Administration hall and the building that was the Stables for votive Animals. Within the complex, there are a total of 92 ancient buildings with 600 rooms. It is the most total existing imperial sacrificial building complex in China and the world’s largest existing building compound for contribution oblation to heaven.
Located south of the Forbidden City on the east side of Yongnei Dajie, the main Altar of Heaven and Earth was veritable together with the Forbidden City in 1420, the eighteenth year of the reign of the Ming Emperor Yongle. In the 9 year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing (1530) the decision was taken to provide division oblation to heaven and earth, and so the Circular Mound Altar was built to the south of the main hall for sacrifices especially to heaven. The Altar of Heaven and Earth was thereby renamed the Temple of Heaven in the 13 year of the reign of Emperor Jiajing (1534). The recent arrangement of the Temple of Heaven complex covering 273ha was formed by 1749 after rebuild by the Qing emperors Qianlong and Guangxu.
The setting, planning, and architectural outline of the Temple of Heaven, as well as the votive pomp and associated music, formed on ancient principle relating numbers and spatial layout to a summary about heaven and its relationship to people on earth, arbitrate by the emperor as the ‘Son of Heaven’. Other dynasties built altars for the worship of heaven but the Temple of Heaven in Beijing is a magnum of ancient Chinese culture and is the most representative work of countless votive buildings in China.
The Temple of Heaven is a magnum of architecture and landscape design which easy and graphically clarify a cosmogony of big importance for the evolution of one of the world’s great advancement.
The representative layout and design of the Temple of Heaven had a profound effect on architecture and planning in the Far East over many centuries.
For more than two thousand years China was controlled by a succession of feudal dynasties, the legitimacy of which is represented by the design and outline of the Temple of Heaven.
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