Sunday 1 October 2017

Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing

This complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests
This postcard was sent by Weimin

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing.
The temple complex was constructed from 1406 to 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who was also responsible for the construction of the Forbidden City in Beijing.
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, 36 meters in diameter and 38 meters tall, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperor prayed for good harvests. The building is completely wooden, with no nails. The original building was burned down by a fire caused by lightning in 1889. The current building was re-built several years after the incident.

Circular Mound Altar
This postcard was sent by Sudan

The Circular Mound Altar is an outdoor empty circular platform on three levels of marble stones, located in BeijingChina. It is part of the Temple of Heaven.
It was constructed in 1530, during the 9th year of the Jiajing Emperor's reign in the Ming dynasty, and enlarged in 1749 (the 14th year of the Qianlong Emperor's reign in the Qing dynasty).
This altar was also built for religious purposes, especially for ceremonies to pray for rain by the emperor in times of drought. During the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368–1911 AD), the emperors would offer sacrifices to Heaven on the day of the Winter Solstice every year. Sacrificial animals and other offerings were burned here to ensure good harvests. - in: wikipedia

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