Temple of Heaven

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by Mulligan232
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
World History
Grade:
6

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Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven

Quinn Mulligan

The Temple of Heaven was finished with construction in1420 as a command of Ming Emperor Yongle. It was a place to worship for the Ming and Qing Dynasties

What was the temple's function?

The Temple of Heaven had three main buildings which all served a different purpose. The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (Right) is the main attraction of the three altars. This section was where the emperors made animal sacrifices and burned certain types of sticks to please the Heaven God and ask for a good farming season. Next is the Round Altar.(Bottom) This is where all the ceremonies to Heaven took place. It was also where the Throne of Heaven was located. Finally, there is the Devine Music Hall. It is where an imperial organization plans before each ceremony.

Why was the Temple built?

If you were an emperor in ancient China, one of the things people would call you is the Son of Heaven. Since that was one of the emperor’s nicknames, the Chinese found sacrifices, ceremonies, and prayers to Heaven absolutely crucial. Also, emperors needed a place to worship to make sure the crops on farms throughout China had a good growing season and to make holy and imperial sacrifices.

How is the Temple a reflection of Chinese culture?

Does the architechture continue to flourish?

No, this style of building doesn’t continue to develop, as it was unique to the ancient Chinese culture of the 1400s. Today, people use square based skyscrapers which stay square until the very top, so the completed building appears as a rectangular prism. In the 1400s, they built their altars with a circular base that rose into smaller sections with cone-like roofs.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest actually follows a belief that earth is square and heaven is round. The Hall of Prayer has two rooms: one round, and the other square. That is how it follows the belief. Many other rooms are similar to this, because they show a resemblance between Earth, Heaven, and the emperor. (He was considered to be in the middle of the two) It also was very important to China for two other reasons. One reason is that it was the emperor’s place to pray. The second reason is that the emperor only used it twice a year, so the ceremonies conducted there were always sacred and meaningful.

Your

In this altar, only two ceremoniestook place, each on only one day of the year, but not on the same day. The first one was on the fifteenth dayof the first lunar month, were he performvery exact sacrifices to pray for a good farming season. Next, the emperor would visit again on the winter solstice to thank heaven for allits blessings, even if it was a terrible farming year.

What kinds of ceremonies were conducted in the Hall of Prayer? (I'm asking since it was the most important altar)

Below are the Temple's main gates


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