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About

About Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is an imperial complex of religious buildings situated in the southeastern part of central Beijing. The complex was visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.
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 complex was extended and renamed Temple of Heaven during the reign of the Jiajing Emperor in the 16th century. Jiajing also built three other prominent temples in Beijing, the Temple of the Sun in the east, the Temple of Earth in the north, and the Temple of Moon in the west. The Temple of Heaven was renovated in the 18th century under the Qianlong Emperor.

History

History of Temple of Heaven

In 1914, Yuan Shikai, then President of the Republic of China, performed a Ming prayer ceremony at the temple, as part of an effort to have himself declared Emperor of China. In 1918 the temple was turned into a park and for the first time open to the public.
The Temple of Heaven was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 and was described as “a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design which simply and graphically illustrates a cosmogony of great importance for the evolution of one of the world’s great civilizations…” as the ” symbolic layout and design of the Temple of Heaven had a profound influence on architecture and planning in the Far East over many centuries.”

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