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  • Day 6: Temple of Heaven

    Not only is Temple of Heaven one of those popular parks and tour attractions that everyone needs to visit, but it is also a massive space for the community to gather. The surroundings of the temple have areas for excercising which are free to the public, and throughout halls of the temple people are playing cards, playing instruments, knitting and making crafts, and just pretty much go to the park to hang out. You'll see there was a photoshoot going on there too. I decided to get on the line and take some photos just to see if I could, and no one seemed to mind or care that I had stepped in. Lets me note in the second photo showing all the photographers, that one guys stance in the back is intense. You don't mess with a guy holding that intense of a photo stance.

    Watching the community choir/band get together at the end of our visit to the temple was a really powerful experience. They are all there because they love doing it. No one claps, no one cheers - instead they all join in song from the heart.

    Oh, and when you need to sleep, you just find a bench or whatever serves best.

    Temple of Heaven

    Temple of Heaven is a series of religious buildings in which the Emperors of the Qing and Ming dynasties would pray to the heavens for good harvest.

    The temple was built in 1406 to 1420, but was not known as Temple of Heaven until the 16th century when the Jiajing Emperor added on to the temple. In the 18th century, the temple was renovated, which was the last large renovation of the tempel during imperial time due to funds.

    In 1900, the temple took serious damage due to the occupation by the Eight Nation Alliance during the Boxer Rebellion. Robberies of temple artifacts made by the alliance would later be reported during this time. 

    During the fall of the Qing empire, the temple was left unmanaged. As a result several halls bagan to collapse over the years.

    In 1918 the temple was turned into a public park, and declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1998.