Photo Essay: A “Heavenly” Visit to Beijing’s Iconic Temple Before Chinese New Year

Beijing’s Temple of Heaven was where Ming and Qing dynasty emperors would pray to Heaven for a good harvest that year. So on the cusp of the Year of the Dog, Jun and I made a visit to this iconic Beijing landmark — and it was indeed heavenly to behold.

While we’re still relaxing and enjoying the Chinese New Year holiday, I thought I’d share a few photos from our visit.

It’s thrilling to walk the boulevards of the Temple of Heaven park and catch your first glimpse of the main temple complex.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, decorated in a tapestry of brilliant colors, deserves its status as a symbol of Beijing, if not China.

With an overcast sky and temperatures finally hovering above zero, it was an ideal time to get out and enjoy this magnificent attraction.

We also walked down the grand entrance leading to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests in the Temple of Heaven — and you can see the roof rising just above the entranceways.

But there’s much more to the Temple of Heaven complex than that iconic structure. We also visited the Imperial Vault of Heaven, whose design echoes the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests…

And the Circular Mound Altar, where emperors once prayed to the Heavens for good weather.

Here’s one of my favorite photos (taken by a woman who insisted I make the “V for victory” sign along with my husband Jun 😉 ). Wishing you all a “heavenly” Year of the Dog and prosperous Chinese New Year!

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6 thoughts on “Photo Essay: A “Heavenly” Visit to Beijing’s Iconic Temple Before Chinese New Year

  • February 20, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Nice Black-billed Magpie in photo #3!


    • February 24, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      Thanks for the comment, Ryan! Should have known you would catch the bird in the scene! 😉

  • February 21, 2018 at 5:16 am

    Absolutely stunning, what a great sight!

    Happy New Year to you and Jun! 🙂

  • February 22, 2018 at 2:11 am

    Glad to see you are taking in some of the sites. Beijing has so much history and culture. I remember my first visit to the Temple of Heaven complex and thinking how I was walking where emperors once walked and prayed and people continue to walk and pray to this day…. just gives you a strange sense of time and history intertwined in everyday life.

    • February 24, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you for the comment, Dave. Yeah, I had similar thoughts while visiting the Temple of Heaven!


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