Monday, April 6, 2009
Photo special: Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan 天坛)
I will kick start this week with a delayed photo special of Beijing's Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan 天坛). I was there during a muggy and warm day in May 2006 and, except for the heat and the crowd, I enjoyed the experience. Although I definitely would recommend people to go during the spring/fall (or even winter!) rather than during the summer. Attractions tend to lose their charm when it is steaming hot as well as crammed with tourists.
So if you can avoid going there during the summer or during the wknds, it's definitely worth a visit. It's located in southeastern urban Beijing, in Xuanwu District, so it's easy to access.
And now a little history lesson: The temple was built in 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 visited by the Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for annual ceremonies of prayer to Heaven for good harvest.
(thanks for that, Wikipedia!)