Sunday, April 27, 2014

Temple of Heaven

Since high tech failed Pipkin earlier today at The Place, he decided to go low tech and visited the Temple of Heaven. This temple was visited by monarchs and emperors in the past, in annual ceremonies to pray for a good harvest.

There weren't too many people visiting the temple that day, so Pipkin thought he'd spend some time in prayer. In the above photos you can see how the Temple is built on three levels of marble stone, each level with nine steps to the next. The number nine represents the Emperor.

Each level has its own gargoyles! When it rains, these carved dragons spew water and the Temple of Heaven looks like a giant water fountain. That would be something to see, but now that Pipkin thinks of it, he's been in Beijing a long time and it hasn't rained much at all. Just a few light sprinkles, but no hard rain. Suddenly he understands the need for prayer.

The triple gabled Temple is 36 metres in diameter and 38 metres tall. It is entirely made of wood, without any nails.

Pipkin made a prayer for favourable weather, a good harvest, and please, oh please, some nice raw veggies.


  1. Did you try calling out loud in the inner circular court? It's designed acoustically so that your voice travels around the circle and comes back at you from the other direction. Pretty cool!

    1. Yes, that's a really cool feature of the architecture, unfortunately we didn't have time that day to see and do it all!


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