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Hall of Annual Prayer, the largest building in the Temple of Heaven (literally the Altar of Heaven) is a complex of Taoist buildings situated in southeastern urban Beijing, in Xuanwu District. Construction of the complex began in 1420, and was thereafter visited by all subsequent Emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is regarded as a Taoist temple, although the worship of Heaven, especially by the reigning monarch of the day, pre-dates Taoism.The temple is formed In accordance with principles dating to pre-Confucian times, the celestial sphere in round and ethnic earth in square form with the celestial utmost pole in north and the galaxy scattered by 28 groups of constellation. Thus its surrounding walls in the north are in round and south in square, the main buildings are round and across beans are all in 28 pieces. The Columns are 4 and 12 instead of 4 seasons and 12 months, the altar is at 365 steps, the architecture and layout of it are based on elaborate symbolism and numerology. It also reflected the Chinese ancient philosophy that the celestial & human beings should be composed together. The dynasty built the temple here was only for emperors to communicate with the celestial beings and prey for bless and good heaviest, forbidden to any ordinaries.The Temple grounds covers 2.73 km2 of parkland, and comprises three main groups of constructions, all built according to strict philosophical requirements.The Earthly Mount is the altar proper. It is an empty platform on three levels of marble stones, where the Emperor prayed for favorable weather;

The House of Heavenly Lord, a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base, where the altars were housed when not in use;

The Hall of Annual Prayer, a magnificent triple-gabled circular building, built on three levels of marble stone base, where the Emperor prayed for good harvests.

In ancient China, the Emperor of China was regarded as the “Son of Heaven”, who administered earthly matters on behalf of, and representing, heavenly authority. To be seen to be showing respect to the source of his authority, in the form of sacrifices to heaven, was extremely important. The temple was built for these ceremonies, mostly comprised of prayers for good harvests.

The Temple of Heaven was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1998.

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