China: Temple of Heaven.
If you are planning a trip to Beijing, then such world-famous landmark, as Temple of Heaven (Tiantan) is unlikely to remain without your attention. Moreover, here is something to see. The entire complex Tiantan is neat, slim, verified by compass and is a complete architectural and landscape perfection. From 1998 this object is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Temple of Heaven - the largest park of the capital, is located on about 267 hectares. Even during the ancient times Chinese with special reverence treat the natural substances and worshiped them. During the reign of the Ming Dynasty were built altars of earth, sky, sun, etc. There was a special ritual of worship to these altars, at certain times of the year. After the ceremony, holding by Emperor was considered that everything would be all right in China. The main one is the worship to Heaven - because China is the Celestial Empire, and the emperor - is the son of Heaven.
The ritual of sacrifice occurs at the end of December, every year astrologers calculated the most favorable number for this. The Emperor went out of Gugun (National Palace), in compliance with the rules of the ceremony, passing the place where today Tiananmen Square and the Qianmen Street are located. Ceremony involves offering of victims to Heaven in the form of poor animals. Lieges were strictly forbidden to watch the action, those who saw the ritual were immediately deprived of their heads. Everybody attituded seriously to this process, a lot of people were engaged in a thorough preparation.
The most correct viewing starts with the western gate, where the emperor rode. Although there are northern and eastern gates, which are located next to the metro station. One of the objects of the Temple of Heaven - is palace Chzhaygun. Outwardly, this stone mini-fortress, which was intended for the preparation of the emperor for the ceremony. Before sacrifice for Heaven, Emperor had five days to meditate, fast, and avoid entertainment and to spend the last night before the ceremony in the palace.
Altar of Heaven - the main place of the complex, is the round three-tiered terrace. It is crowned by circle, on which kneeling Emperor. Now it is a favorite place to take pictures. Before the altar - is located a small pavilion with a roof-umbrella, Hall of the Firmament, built in 1530, a height of 19 meters. He is surrounded by a circular Wall of Echo with unique acoustics. Principle of action is as follows: interlocutors stand at opposite ends of the wall, one says quietly, and the other hears it, even though the distance between them is about 100 meters. But it is not always possible to test this phenomenon, as required silence to obtain the effect is absent, because the Temple of Heaven - is a very popular place.
The next object of the park - is Hall of the Reaping Prayers, it is most often found in the photographs with signature Temple of Heaven. This is a three-storied pavilion height of 38 meters, which can be seen from everywhere. Symbol of Beijing was built of wood without a single nail in 1420. In 1889 the hall was burned by lightning, for the Empress Cixi executed more than three dozen dignitaries. Inside, there are unique painted ceiling and columns of American Oregon spruce, specially imported for restoration of the pavilion. Central column in the temple means the absolute power of the emperor, it is the most elegant. Four thick columns represent the seasons, 12 pillars around represent 12 months of the year, and 12 pillars on diameter of the wall of the Hall of the Reaping Prayers represent 12 hours.
About 60,000 pine and cypress trees grow in the park, it is very pleasant to stroll and relax in their shade. The Chinese come here to do exercises, as in other Beijing parks. The general recovery - the motto of the Chinese people. Walking through the park, you can find the singers, musicians, or groups of dancing people. Everybody - elderly, and children train at sports simulators. This is very quiet, interesting and beautiful place which is worth a visit.
Video: "Temple of Heaven"