Temple of Heaven: Qiniandian and Danbiqiao (imperial terrace passage way) viewed from afar: Danbiqiao (also called Hai-Mandadao) is raised 2.5 meters above the ground level, built in white stone. The mid-path is Shenlu (the way for divine deities); on the left is Wanglu (the way for emperors), on the right is Yulu (the way for royalty). The two side ways are for the state ministers. The Danbiqiao has a total length of 360 meters, connecting Qiniand
Temple of Heaven: Qiniandian is the place where the emperor prayed for bumper harvests. It was first built in 1420 and rebuilt in 1890. It is a round building of wood with three roof-tops one overhanging the other, 38 meters all, 30 meters in diameter, standing on a large three-tiered terrace base of white stone. The roof-tops are covered with glazed tiles in the deep blue radiating from the center, each one of the three being larger than the one o
Temple of Heaven: On the base of Qiniandian there is a three-tiered marble terrace, carved with designs of dragons, phoenixes, clouds and mountains in vivid form and exquisite workmanship. Looking at the building from below one is fascinated by the beauty of the pure white marble base, the deep blue roof-tops, the vermillion pillars, the brilliant designs and the golden crown shining bright in the air. It is gorgeous in color enveloped in an atmosp
Temple of Heaven: The inside structure of Qiniandian is marvelous and brilliant. The heavy roof-tops is supported by 28 huge nanmu pillars. The four of them in the center, called Longjingzhu, are the biggest, 19.2 meters tall, 1.2 meters in diameter, so huge that two adults can not touch finger0tips when embracing them. The throne in the hall is for the memorial tablet to the "God of Heaven" during the sacrifice offering ceremony. On the upper par
Temple of Heaven: Huangqongyu is a single-roofed hall with its roof covered with deep blue glazed tiles. It was originally built in 1530, rebuilt 1752. The hall was originally for the memorial tablet to the "God of Heaven," with the memorial tablets to royal ancestors of the preceding eight generations on the two sides. On occasions of homage paying to the "God of Heaven" these memorial tablets were placed in Huanqiu Hall for the ceremony. When vi
Temple of Heaven: Huiyinbi (the echo wall) is inside the compound for Huangqongyu. It is a very interesting place. When one talks in a low voice at the foot of the wall on the east, facing north, the other person at the foot of the wall on the west can hear very clearly, as if through a telephone, though they are actually separated by a distance of over 60 meters. This is because the wall is a circular structure, so the sound waves can be conducted
Temple of Heaven: Huanqiu, also called Huanqiutan, is the main building of Tiantan. The grand ceremony to pay homage to Heaven was conducted here. It is a round alter on a three-tiered terrace built of pure white marble. It was first built in 1530, rebuilt 1749. In old China there prevailed the belief that "Heaven is round and the earth is square," hence the round form of the structure.
Temple of Heaven: On the outskirts of Huanqiu there are two surrounding walls. The outer wall is round while the inner one is square, to match with the globular altar, forming geometrical figures. On the east, west, south and north sides there are linging arch entrances to the Huanqiu Altar.
aerial view from a commercial postcard. "Established as a National Monument in 1923, the ruins orginally contained at least 500 rooms, which housed about 800 Indians. The homew were constructed by stone-age people in the early part of the 12th century."