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Beijing Temple of Heaven

beijing temple of heavenAs the largest of the all-existing temples in China, the Beijing Temple of Heaven was the place where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties worshiped heaven and prayed for good harvests.

Its main structures include the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a lofty, round structure supported by 28 wooden pillars, with a cone shaped deep blue-tile roof crowned with a gilded knob. A circular wall, known as Echo Wall, surrounds the Imperial Vault of Heaven. If a person whispers close to the wall at any point, the voice can be heard distinctly at any other point along the wall.

A masterpiece of the Ming and Qing architectural art and a precious example of China's ancient architecture, the Beijing Temple of Heaven is the largest architectural group for worshipping Heaven in the world. In 1961, it was listed by the State Council as a key monument under state protection." In 1998, it was recognized by UNESCO as a human heritage of the world."

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