16/46.- Beijing, Temple of Heaven, Imperial Vault


One of the constructions in the Temple of Heaven Park that deserves a visit is the Round Altar. With its nine rings, each of them made with a number of stones which is a multiple of nine. Nine, the largest single digit odd number, was considered a heavenly number. The number of stairs around the altar are also multiples of nine. The Round Altar is where animals were sacrificed during the winter solstice ceremonies. A local legend says that if you stand on the stone in the middle of the circular altar and make a wish looking up at the sky, the wish will come true.

Another of the Temple of Heaven's famous constructions is the circular Echo Wall, where you can hear anyone who whispers at the other opposite side of the wall. You will find several tourists trying to hear someone at the other end of the wall. In the middle of this circular wall is the Imperial Vault of Heaven, or Qigu Hall (in the picture). This is where emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties prayed for good harvests in spring.

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