Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China
Beijing is not only the capital of China, but also one of the most exciting and must-see cities in the world. Beijing – or Beijing – has played an important role in Chinese history for over 700,000 years. Numerous sights still bear witness to the importance of the city. One of the most beautiful among them is Beijing’s Temple of Heaven. Find out more about the former temple of the Chinese emperors now.
On the history of the Temple of Heaven
From 1421, under the Ming Emperor Yongle, not only the new Imperial Palace was built, but also the Temple of Heaven. Over 100 years later, an altar was built from valuable blue panels. From the middle of the 16th century, the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties prayed annually for a rich harvest. The altar was enlarged in the middle of the 18th century and lined with white quarry stone.
Location and structure of the Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was built in the south of Beijing. There he stands in a beautiful park. Two massive walls were built around the temple to protect it. These well-fortified walls are also particularly symbolic. The south side has corners, while the north side is round like a dome. This symbolizes the Chinese belief that everything in heaven is round and everything on earth is square. In addition to the altar, there are also various buildings in the temple area, such as the Hall of the Harvest Offering or the Hall of the Vault of Heaven. In the former, the reigning emperor made sacrifices to the gods. Sheep, incense or jade were used to ask for a high-yielding harvest. Characteristic of the hall of harvest sacrifice is its round, step-shaped construction.
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing is also particularly worth seeing because a visit gives you a sense of immersion in traditional China. A visit is ideal for tourists traveling as well as for a study trip, for example.
The Yonghe Temple or Lama Temple is located in the east quarter of Beijing. The building with its yellow roof tiles and red walls is one of the most important and best restored cultural monuments in China and is a listed building. Originally the temple complex was a residence. It was built in 1694 for Prince Yinzhen, son of Emperor Kang Xi of the Qing Dynasty.
The Yonghe Temple was converted into the Lama Temple in 1744 under the Chinese Emperor Qianlong. The high-quality restored temple complex, which literally means “Palace of Peace and Harmony”, is one of the largest in China. The extensive area of the temple consists of several ornate inner courtyards, ornamental gardens and halls.
A special highlight of the temple is the “Hall of Infinite Happiness”. Here is an almost 20 m high Buddha statue, which was carved from a single sandalwood tree. This statue was a gift from Kelsang Gyatsho, the 7th Dalai Lama, to Emperor Qianlong. In addition to the various halls, there are also a large number of houses and pavilions in the typical Chinese style.
The Lama Temple in Beijing is still used by monks. So it’s not a pure tourist attraction, even if it might seem like that at times. There are restaurants, souvenir and prayer supplies shops around the temples. The prices are here and in the surrounding area, unfortunately quite heavily adjusted to the tourists. A visit to the Lama Temple itself is worthwhile because of the impressive architecture. There is a lot to see and discover. The side halls also house many cultural treasures and great attention was paid to small details so that you can hardly see enough. Of course you also have to look at the Buddha statue. The Lama Temple is open from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. and is well visited throughout the day.
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The terracotta army of the first Chinese emperor Qin Shi Huang has been on view in an exhibition since 2002. Since then, more than a million visitors in the various exhibition cities in various European countries have taken the opportunity to look at the extremely impressive life-size terracotta sculptures and to find out about their origins. The coveted exhibition includes around 150 faithfully designed figures. These include officers, archers and soldiers as well as the associated wagons and horses and other utensils. The great attention to detail is evident at first glance. The figures were elaborately reconstructed and, among other things, with the original painting,
UNESCO world cultural heritage
The excavation of the famous terracotta army at the tomb of Qin Shi Huang near the four-million-person city of Xi’an, which was followed with great interest worldwide, which began in the 1970s, is considered to be one of the greatest archaeological discoveries of modern times. The Terracotta Army, which according to legend was supposed to guard the emperor in the realm of the dead, has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987. The huge archaeological site has long since developed into one of the most important tourist attractions in central China. In total, several thousand well-preserved and restored terracotta warriors can be seen here.