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Home Travel in Beijing The Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven
Travel in Beijing

The Temple of Heaven (tiān tán天坛) was the place where the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties would worship Heaven and pray for bumper crops.The Temple of Heaven
The northern part of the outer surrounding wall is semi-circular in shape while the southern part square, a pattern symbolic of the ancient belief that Heaven was round and the earth square. The double surrounding wall separates the temple into two parts—the inner and outer temples with the main structures in the inner one, covering a space of 273 hectares in all.
The inner temple is also partitioned by a wall into two groups of buildings. The north structure is the Altar of Praying for Bumper Crops with the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests as the principal building used to pray in spring for a bumper harvest in the year. The south structure is the Circular Mound Altar used to worship Heaven at the winter solstice where the principal construction is a large round marble terrace named the Circular Mound.

The two altars, connected by a 360-metre-long raised walk called the Red Step Bridge, are arranged in a line forming a north-south axis 1,200 metres long, and flanked by century-old cypresses in a spacious area.

To the inner south of the West Celestial Gate is the Abstinence Hall where the feudal emperors observed abstention before the rituals. In the western part of the outer temple is located the Divine Music Office, which was in charge of the teaching and performance of the ritual music. In the Temple of Heaven are situated such main buildings as the Hall of Prayer for Good harvests, the Hall of Heavenly Emperor, the Circular Mound, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Abstinence Hall, the Beamless Hall, the Long Corridor, the Longevity Pavilion in a double ring shape as well as the Echo Wall, the Three Echo Stones, and the Seven Meteoric Stones.

Built first in 1420(the 18th year of Emperor Yongle’s reign of the Ming Dynasty), and then expanded and reconstructed during the Ming Emperor Jiajing’s reign and Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign, the Temple o0f Heaven is a grand and magnificent masterpiece of architecture with a formal and solemn environment. Since the founding of New China, the government has allotted a great sum of money to protect and restore the cultural monuments there. The Temple of Heaven with its long history, deep cultural content and magnificent architectural style mirrors the ancient culture of the Orient.

A masterpiece of the Ming and Qing architectural art and a precious example of China’s ancient architecture, the Temple of Heaven is the largest architectural group for worshipping Heaven in the world. In 1961, it was listed by the State Council as “one of the key monuments under the state protection”. In 1998, it was recognized by the UNESCO as “one of the human heritages of the world”.

Address: Tiantan Street, Chongwen District
Post code: 100050
Tel: 67012402, 67013026



Attractions nearby
Xiannongtan(Altar of God of Agriculture)
Hongqiao Pearl Market
Beijing Museum of Nature History
Qianmen Street

Opening time
March 1st-June 30th, 8:00-17:30 coupon tickets are sold until 16:00
July 1st-October 31st, 8:00-18:00, coupon tickets are sold until 18:00
November 1st-February 28th, 8:00-17:00, coupon tickets are sold until 17:00
the park opens from 6:00am to 21:00

Bus Line
No.17, 20, 35, 120, 203, 707, 729, 744, 803,814, 826
Subway Line 5, get of f at Tiantandongmen (East Gate of Tiantan) stop

Ticket Price
From November 1 through March 31, coupon ticket is RMB 30. Entrance ticket is RMB 10.
From April 1 through October 31, coupon ticket is RMB 35. Entrance ticket is RMB 15.


  • Hongqiao Pearl Market in the east of Tiantan Park is famous for pearl.Many kinds of goods are traded, such as jewelry, aquatic products, silk clothes, bags and leather products, cyber products, watches, etc. Many salespersons can speak fluence English.
  • The Temple of Heaven is a delightful and exquisite place to spend some time. Arrive in the early morning to watch the TaiChi experts, although the park is lively all day and into the evening with kite flyers, musicians, singers, dancers and games players (from badmingtoon to chinese chess).
  • Many visitor like to take a photo in front of the House of Prayer for Good Harvest. It's the symbol of Beijing.
  • The ceiling of the House of Prayer for Good Harvest is stunning.
  • If you stand with your face to the Echo Wall which is the wall around the courtyard of the Imperial Vault of Heaven and speak to a partner who is also standing by the wall, your partner can understand every word at every point along the wall.Of course it is necessary to wait until as few people as possible are present, which, unfortunately, is very rarely the case.
The Temple of Heaven
  • The Echo Stone are three stone slabs in front of the stairs to the Imperial Vault of Heaven, which produce another peculiar effect. If you stand on the first slab and clap your hands, you will hear a single echo, on the second, a double, and on the third, a triple.
The Temple of Heaven