Sunday, August 11, 2013

Thank God X For All That’s Given: Temple of Heaven 天壇

an ideal short half-day outing

after the feet-challenging Forbidden City

 

Temple of Heaven is the general name

which consists of a few praying halls

this being the iconic one

Praying Hall for Good Harvests, 祈年殿

Temple of Heaven 天壇

 

the reigning Emperor will be here at least once a year

with fasting on vegetarian food

and some really elaborative rituals

to show gratitude for the prosperity year

and pray for a smooth-sailing year ahead 

The Annual Praying Hall for Good Harvest 祈年殿

 

The Imperial Vault of Heaven, 皇宆宇

where the ancestral tablets of the previous Emperors

are being placed and worshipped

Imperial Vault of Heaven 皇穹宇

The Blue

Temple of Heaven

as the name already explains

blue, being the theme colour corresponds to

the colour of the sky

dragon in blue colour in Temple of Heaven

 

The Circular

all the praying buildings being sphere-shaped 

surrounded by rectangular walls

due to an old saying, Round Sky Square Earth 天圓地方

bad translation but it roughly means

the land are flat and square in generally

contrasting the sky which is

deemed to be round-shaped 

circular architecture, Temple of Heaven

 

The Tragics and Restoration

back in 19th century, 1872 to be exact

the reign of Emperor Guang Xu 光緒皇帝

the whole Praying Hall of Good Harvest

was burnt down to ashes

 

it was seen as a bad omen

at the same time, the reconstruction was done 

true enough, the Empire didn’t last that long afterwards

View from the Imperial Vault

 

much damages were done again

during the foreign invasions 

the two massive restoration were carried out

after liberalization and the 70’s

P1230726

 

The Park

it’s called Tian Tan Park for a reason

a place for the retirees and housewives

morning workouts, knitting groups, etc etc

Opera singing session in parkDomino playing

 

not forgetting the lovely shades of some

really old Junipers

Juniper, (Song 松) is a favorite motif in Chinese art

along with bamboo (Zhu 竹)

and plum flower (Mei Hua 梅花)

the trio are known as Friends of Winter,歲寒三友

for their resilience through the winter

shades of Juniper

 

The Five Temples

The Mandarin Name, Tian Tan

literally translated as Temple of Sky

basically there are five temples 五壇

in the vicinity of central Beijing

surrounding the Forbidden City

in a symmetrical way

which serve the respective ritual functions

 

the other four are namely

Temple of the the Sun, Ri Tan 日壇

Temple of the Moon, Yue Tan 月壇

Temple of the Land, Di Tan 地壇

Temple of the Peasant God, Xian Nong Tan 先農壇

 

all are opened to public for visit

 

My Little Puzzle

architecture models never fail to attract me

there was another one

how could I forget to snap a photo

it is to show the inner design, where

the building was sliced into two,

therefore half of the building, revealing the

details of the interior 

architecture model for Temple of Heaven

 

there were a few others of different eras

this was back in the Tang Dynasty

P1230696

 

saw this which was kinda fun

going for RMB 39 each at bookstore

yet was turned down by my dad

because he thinks it’s kinda childish

the material being paper

3D Puzzle Temple of Heaven 天壇

3D Puzzle Temple of Heaven 天壇 023D Puzzle Temple of Heaven 天壇 03

 

I am way beyond the age to beg

some other time I will be back in Beijing

and this would definitely be in my shopping list

 

p.s.

apology and much regret

the interior photos were kinda bad 

well you know

squeezing through the crowd

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