The Temple of Heaven — Part 1


Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at the Temple of Heaven

In Beijing is yet another must-see stop.  It’s the sprawling complex of buildings devoted to Taoism located at the Temple of Heaven.  There is simply so much to see at this site that I’ll be devoting this week’s scheduled blogs to it, culminating once again in my photographic favorites on this week’s Fun Photo Friday.

The Entrance Ticket Information in Chinese

The Entrance Ticket Information in Chinese

The first structure you’ll notice after entering through the North Heaven Gate is the often photographed Hall of Prayers for Good Harvests.

North Sky Gate

North Sky Gate

This enormous, round, tri-gabled structure is some 36 meters/118 feet wide by 38 meters/125 feet tall.  It sits atop three-levels of stone base with nine steps connecting each tier.  Each tier is enclosed by carved marble railing.

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

Visitors stepping into this wooden structure are rewarded with an exploding kaleidoscope of intense colors.

Interior look at the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

Interior look at the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

At the base of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests are two large halls — the west and east annexes.

West Annex at the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

West Annex at the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

Inside the east annex are models of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests as well as other items of interest.

Gold Gift-Set Bells of the Ming Dynasty

Gold Gift-Set Bell of the Ming Dynasty

East Annex Model of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

East Annex Model of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

Before we look at a few more of the buildings in this complex, let’s take a look at the people who frequent these grounds.  We were amazed at the number of people who visit this park on a daily basis for exercise, games, and other pedestrian pursuits.

A Segway Knock-off

A Segway Knock-off

Practicing Caligraphy in Water

Practicing Caligraphy in Water

Several groups of people were playing a particularly intriguing game using something very similar to the birdie in badminton.  Only, in this case, there is no net and the “racket” is your feet.  People were batting the birdie with great skill, frequently catching the birdie from behind with a blind back-kick that would send the birdie soaring over their heads to another awaiting player.  It was quite an impressive display.

A Game Similar to Badminton

A Game Similar to Badminton

More on the Temple of Heaven on Wednesday.  Until then here are a few more photos:

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3 Comments

Filed under Photography, R. Doug Wicker, travel

3 responses to “The Temple of Heaven — Part 1

  1. Pingback: China PhotoBlog Series Begins - Page 7 - WaltherForums

  2. Stunning photos.

    My Dad visited Beijing on business in the 1990s and also visited many of the touristy locations in your photos (except for the Olympic park, obviously). However, you are a much better photographer.