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[Beijing] Temple of Heaven   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2013-1-23 05:20:39 |Display all floors
nice

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Post time 2013-1-24 11:34:16 |Display all floors
I visited temple of heaven in last winter; even the sky is not so blue on the picture, the building itself is grand and majestic. Will visit it again in sunny day in future

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Post time 2013-1-24 22:04:43 |Display all floors
How much had the government invested for  repairing of those old buildings?

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Post time 2013-1-27 10:41:30 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sillyoldman at 2013-1-27 12:34

Tiantan (天壇) (Temple of Heaven)

Tiantan (天壇) (Temple of Heaven) comprises three main groups of construction of sacrificial Hall and Altars; all built according to strict Taoist philosophical principles: (1) The Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿 Qi Nian Dian), (2) The Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇 Huang Qiong Yu) and (3) the Circular Mound Altar (圜丘壇 Yuan Qiu Tan).

The altars are connected by a 360-meter-long raised walk called the Red Step Bridge which is arranged in line with a 1,200-meter-long north-south axis flanked by century-old cypress trees. Tiantan’s altars are laid out according to the divine rule: buildings and paths are positioned to represent the right directions for heaven and earth. This means that the northern part is higher than the south.

View Map of Temple of Heaven Park:
http://en.tiantanpark.com/showcontent2.aspx?Sortid=6  or        
http://www.beijingtrip.com/attra ... e-of-heaven-map.jpg

(1)        The Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿 Qi Nian Dian)

The Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿 Qi Nian Dian) is not the original building (The Great Hall for Sacrificial Rituals 大祀殿 dà sì diàn) re-built by Emperor JiaJing 明朝嘉靖皇帝 (1521-1567) in 1545. Emperor Guangxu 光绪皇帝) rebuilt the Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿 Qi Nian Dian) in 1890 following the original architectural blueprints from the Ming dynasty after it was brunt down in 1889. It was claimed that the re-constructed building has all the exact shapes, colors and posts similar to the original.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests built in 1890 is a magnificent triple-gabled circular building with its cone-shaped blue roof crowned with a gilded knob. The blue roof signifies the sky or heaven. The external view suggests a three-storey building but in reality, it is only a single storey high. It is completely a wooden structure with no nails. It had corbel 枕梁 (zhěn liáng) wood bracket supports holding up a multi-inclined roof and mortise and tenon 陰陽榫 (yīn yáng sǔn) interlocking woodwork system to tie beams and cross beams.   

Inside the altar, the architectural elements of Chinese symbolism and beliefs are preserved. There are 28 huge posts in The Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests. The inner 4 posts along the inner circle represent the four seasons 四季 (sì jì) and hold the main top roof. The 12 posts along the middle circle represent 12 months 月 (yuè) of the year and also form the intermediate lean-on roof whilst the 12 posts along the outer circle represent the 12 "Shichen (时辰)" or Chinese counting standard 1 shichen equaling 2 hours (12 two-hour periods (Shichen 时辰) into which the day was traditionally divided and the new day starts at 2300 hr (11pm) 子时 (11pm to 1am)). The outer posts also form the lower lean-on roof. Together these 28 poles correspond to the 28 constellations 星座 (xīng zuò) of heaven. The blue-black, yellow and green colors of the inner roof in the altar also represent the Earth and the Heaven. It also has a lavishly decorated ceiling so-called the Dragon and Phoenix Algae Well 龍鳳藻井. A carved dragon swirling down from the ceiling represents the emperor/s or emperor’s ancestry descending to the ancestral temple from heaven.

Under the ceiling on the praying altar floor are nine ancestral godly tablets of the Qing emperors with the central or main godly tablet (祖仙神位 “Zuxian Shen-Wei”) or Huangtian Shangdi 皇天上帝 on the spirit throne representing all the past ancestors of the emperor. The other eight godly memorial tablets are former Qing emperors of China including the emperor’s ancestors who did not ruled China.

The wooden structure building sits on three-tiered terrace 平台 marble stone base or the imperial grave mound. Each terrace was constructed with rings of stone slabs in multiples of nine. Even the steps and balustrade are also in multiples of nine.

View Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests on:
http://en.tiantanpark.com/showim ... f3b&b=5.jpg&c=image

(2)        The Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇Huang Qiong Yu)

The Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇 Huang Qiong Yu) is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base or the imperial grave mound. It is located south of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests and resembles it, but is smaller in size. It is surrounded by a smooth circular wall, the Echo Wall that can transmit sounds over large distances. The Imperial Vault is connected to the Hall of Prayer by the Vermilion Steps Bridge, a 360 meter long raised walkway that slowly ascends from the Vault to the Hall of Prayer.

Inside the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the emperor’s main godly tablet (祖仙神位 “Zuxian Shen-Wei”) called Huangtian Shangdi 皇天上帝 and emperor eight generation of ancestor's memorial tablets are stored/displayed. The building is “post and panel” structure and does not have the crossbeam but depends entirely on 8 eave posts 屋檐柱, 8 Jin Zhu 金柱 (Jin Zhu, literally means golden column, is the name of a column located behind the columns supporting the eaves) and the numerous dougong 斗拱 roof. Three caisson 藻井 ceilings, layer upon layer has the extreme aesthetic quality that makes this historic building quite unusual. The palace eave is covered with blue colour glazed tiles.

View Imperial Vault of Heaven on:
http://en.tiantanpark.com/showim ... f9c&b=5.jpg&c=image

(3)         The Circular Mound Altar (圜丘坛 Yuan Qiu Tan)

The Circular Mound (Grave) Altar (圜丘坛 Yuan Qiu Tan) is located south of the Imperial Vault of Heaven. It is a circular platform on three levels of marble stones, each lavishly decorated. The center of the altar is a round slate called the “Heart of Heaven” or the “Supreme Yang”, which is surrounded by a ring of nine plates, and then by a ring of 18 plates, and so on, for a total of nine rings, with the outermost having 81=9×9 plates. The “Heart of Heaven” was designed in such a way that the sound of the prayer will be reflected by the guardrail, creating significant resonance, which was supposed to help the prayer communicate with the Heaven.

The Altar was initially built by Emperor Jianjing 明朝嘉靖皇帝  in 1530 and in1749, Qing Emperor Qianlong 乾隆皇帝 had the Circular Mound enlarged and the original blue-glazed tiles being replaced with white marble.

View the Circular Mound Altar on:
http://www2.kenyon.edu/Depts/Rel ... ges270/tiantan1.jpg

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Post time 2013-1-28 15:06:09 |Display all floors
This post was edited by sillyoldman at 2013-1-28 15:16

Huangtian Shangdi (皇天上帝) and former eight emperors’ ancestral spiritual tablets in Tiantan (The Temple of Heaven)

At Tiantan, the emperor’s nine ancestral spiritual tablets are stored or displayed in the Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿 Qi Nian Dian), and the Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇 Huang Qiong Yu & 皇乾殿 Huang Qian Dian).

Huangtian Shangdi 皇天上帝, being the central ancestral spiritual tablet (祖仙神位 “Zuxian Shen-Wei”) representing all the ancestors, is placed in the centre or “throne” of the praying altar flanked by four selected past ancestral emperors’ (先帝神位) tablets on each side for worship.

The current selected eight ancestral emperors’ (先帝神位) tablets were placed in the altars by Emperor Guangxu 光绪皇帝 in 1890 after he rebuilt the Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿 Qi Nian Dian) are as follows:

1. Nurhaci 努爾哈赤 (Tàizǔ 太祖), 1616-1636 (Last king of Jin 金国 nation)
2. Huang Taiji 皇太極 (Tàizōng 太宗), 1626-1643 (Founder of Qing Dynasty)
3. Shunzhi Emperor 順治, 1643-1661 (The first Qing emperor in China)
4. Kangxi Emperor 康熙, 1661-1722        
5. Yongzheng Emperor 雍正, 1722-1735
6. Qianlong Emperor 乾隆, 1735-1796
7. Jiaqing Emperor 嘉慶, 1796-1820
8. Daoguang Emperor 道光, 1820-1850

It shall be noted that Nurhaci and Huang Taiji were not the Qing Emperors of China but were ancestors of Qing emperor of China. Accordingly, Nurhaci 努爾哈赤 was called Tàizǔ 太祖 and Huang Taiji 皇太極 as Tàizōng 太宗.

We do not know how many ancestral spiritual tablets were displayed in the Great Hall for Sacrificial Rituals 大祀殿 (dà sì diàn) during Emperor Yongle 永樂帝, Emperor JiaJing 嘉靖皇帝 or at the end of Ming Dynasty. Neither do we know the inscribed name on Ming’s ancestral tablet (祖仙神位 “Zuxian Shen-Wei”) was.

We also do not know, whether the above Tiantan altars each had nine ancestral spiritual tablets after Emperor Shunzhi 順治皇帝 replaced the Ming Dynasty and when Emperor Qianlong 乾隆皇帝 re-built the Great Hall for Sacrificial Rituals and called it the Altar (Hall) of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿 Qi Nian Dian).

This is something for us to ponder.

Below is the photo of the tablets of Huang Tian Shang Di” 皇天上帝 (祖仙神位) and former eight emperors (先帝神位) in Qing Dynasty:

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/28291397

-北京天坛公园-皇天上帝

by cqjlpgdr08.08.08.

This photo is selected for Google Earth [?] - ID: 28291397


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Post time 2013-1-29 15:27:25 |Display all floors
butterflyin Post time: 2013-1-24 22:04
How much had the government invested for  repairing of those old buildings?

Sound like political opposition party speaking; how much it costs and where does the money coming from?

What is your alternative suggestion that the government should do? Sell them to the property developers and built yet some other highrise buildings or sell to the farmers to turn them into rice fields?

Don’t you like old buildings but unfortunately for you, I love them.

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Post time 2013-2-10 10:01:01 |Display all floors
butterflyin Post time: 2013-1-24 22:04
How much had the government invested for  repairing of those old buildings?

For your information, according to "Xinhua", in early 2005, the Temple of Heaven underwent a 47 million yuan (5.9 million USD) face-lift in preparation for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and the restoration was completed on May 1st, 2006.

Don't you think, it is worth it?

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