Beijing's Temple of Heaven
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

We stepped back into ancient history at The Temple of Heaven.

Beginning six hundred years ago, at the same time that The Forbidden City was built, Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties used this site for annual ceremonies to pray for a good harvest.

A gate to the Temple of Heaven, Beijing, China

Small statues adorn the corners of the building roofs at The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China. The more figures, the higher the status of the building.
Status figures: Small statues adorn the corners of the building roofs. The more figures, the higher the status of the building
.

Dragon detail at The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China
Closer look at the roof

We walked through a large park to reach the sacred site, where we were offered any manner of trinkets, souvenirs, and knock off watches by enterprising entrepreneurs.

This was not unique to this spot though, it happened every time we got off the bus. Certainly seems as if capitalism is catching on.

Souvenirs found at The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

But we found the groups along the walkway playing games much more interesting than a fake Rolex.

Delve deeper into Beijing!

Interesting games being played near the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

Spirited bouts involving grand, energetic placement of cards or pips had drawn large crowds of both players and spectators, and made for an entertaining stroll to the temple.

Interesting games being played near the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

Perhaps the word temple is misleading, there are actually several buildings making up the complex. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests stands out, and above, the rest as the focal point.

Every bit of the impressive circular building is wood, and it was made without any nails. Unfortunately what we see now is a reconstruction, since the original was struck by lightning and burned in 1889.

Detail of The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

Interior of The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at The Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China

David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com

See more of our adventures in China!

Delve deeper into Beijing!

Click here for our full live-blog as we traveled with Holland America aboard the ms Volendam - through Hong Kong, China, South Korea and Japan




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