Temple of Heaven Essay

1185 Words 5 Pages
The layout and architecture of the Temple of Heaven is filled with symbolism. According to symbolic tradition, Heaven is round and the earth is square. Therefore, all of the buildings in the temple complex are round in shape, while their retaining walls and the axis are square. The surrounding walls of the complex also reflect these traditions. The southern side of the wall is square and the northern is round. The emperor would enter the temple complex from the south and this would symbolize his transition from earth to heaven.
The glazed roof tiles of the major buildings in the temple complex are blue, symbolizing heaven. Other buildings have green or yellow roof tiles. The green tiles represent Buddhism and the yellow represent the
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Because of the way it was built, if a person standing on one side, facing the wall and whispers towards it, a person on the opposite side can hear it clearly.
Directly in front of the Imperial Vault of Heaven is what is known as the Triple Sound Stone. If a person stands on the first stone and speaks towards the vault, his words will echo once. If he stands on the second stone, his words will echo twice. If he stands on the third stone, his words will echo three times. It is quite remarkable and absolutely true.

Circular Mound Altar:
South of the Imperial Vault of Heaven lies the Circular Mound Alter. Originally built in 1530 by Emperor Jiajing, it was rebuilt in 1740 by Emperor Qianlong. The altar is a three tiered plinth made entirely of white marble. It is here that the emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties offered sacrifices to heaven annually on the winter solstice. The ceremony was meant to thank heaven and ensure that the next year would be prosperous. The numbers of stones which make up each tier are in multiples of nine, which is a prevailing theme at the Temple of Heaven and in fact, all imperial sites. In Daoism, even numbers represent women and odd numbers represent men. The highest odd number is nine and it is representative of the emperor. In the center of the top terrace is a round stone known as the Heaven’s Heart Stone.
Usage
Since the emperor of China was considered the Son of

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