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The Significance and Symbolism of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing - Research Paper Example

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The Significance and Symbolism of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing [Author] [Institution] Introduction: The Temple of Heaven was founded in the 1420 during the reign of Yongle1. It is located in the southern part of Beijing and is a symbolic building. The temple is a set of buildings that are built with gardens and pine woods…
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Download file to see previous pages The emperors Ming and Qing used to worship the god of heaven during their reigns and prayed for a good harvest. The temples are 273 hectares area wise and it is marked as the world’s largest architectural compound. The temples were a symbolic source for prayer and homage to heaven but today these buildings are left as parks which are visited by tourists and added to the world’s heritage list. Features of the Temple of Heaven: The Temple of Heaven has a 5 km outer wall which covers its area of 273 hectares. The inner and outer temples are divided by a wall. The buildings in the Inner Temple are based on north-south axis which includes the Circular Mound Altar and the Altar of Prayer for Good Harvests. The buildings of the Outer Temple include pine woods and cypresses. The whole design of the building is symbolic. The Inner Temple is square from the south and semi-circular from the north. This pattern represents an ancient belief saying that the Heaven is round and the Earth is square2. The wall of the heaven was higher than that of the earth showing that heaven outshines the earth. The areas of the altars are simple and are not intricate or complex like other royal or sacred buildings. The altars give the setting of the sky to show its vastness and the magnificence of heaven. The circular and square theme is recurring throughout the buildings. The roof tiles are dark blue which represents the heaven, and brings heaven and earth together at one place. The building also represents the odd numbers as symbols which were related to the sun or considered heavenly. Number nine was considered as the strongest number and so the altars and the terrace were built with slabs of stone and rings which were the multiples of nine. The balustrades and steps were also multiples of nine. The top terrace has a stone in the center which is known as Tianxinshi, the Center of Heaven Stone. It reflects the impact of speeches which were delivered from that point. The temples are designed with distinctive solidity, compactness and elegance. Moreover, the buildings are decorated admirably which leads the temple to hold a unique sort of beauty amongst the sacred buildings of the country as well as the architectural legacy of the world3. Similar architectural places: The current state of the Temple of Heaven is that it serves as a park which exists in the surrounding of the buildings. These parks are very popular for exercising and the place is considered as a masterpiece in the architectural world. The graphics and the landscape of the building simply depict the evolution and significance of one of the greatest civilizations in the world. The building today stands as an influence on architecture for many Far East civilizations. The authenticity dynasties that ruled China for over two thousand years were symbols of the layout and design of this temple. A similar architectural building can be the Great Mosque of Kairouan which is located in Tunisia. The mosque is still active and was built in the 670 AD. The mosque has been the center of the sacred buildings as well as the unique Islamic art. It is a masterpiece and it dominates prestige in spiritual and architectural manner. Just as the Temple of Heaven, this mosque has been one of the unique buildings with an architectural and decorative element correlated. Methodology: The Temple of Heaven was built to create a relationship with the heaven. The emperors had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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