The Temple of Heaven is located in Beijing just over a mile south of Tian’anmen Square. It is appreciated for its amazing architectural beauty. Constructed in the mid 1400’s, the temple was meant as a link between Heaven and Earth. Heaven round, earth square. Aparently all of the round alters and tables inside the park sit on square bases.
The ‘temple’ is actually a whole complex of many buildings of religious importance. The main building is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. Highly ornamental, this building is made entirely of wood without the use of any metal nails. Lightning struck the temple in 1889, and the legend is that the lightning was “divine punishment meted out on a sacrilegious caterpillar, which was on the point of reaching the golden ball on the hall’s apex.*” Over thirty dignitaries were executed for letting this happen.
I hope that Tom and I have the opportunity to stop by this temple. It is described simply as a wonder.
*The Rough Guide to China, Leffman, Lewis, Atiyah; Rough Guides