The Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven was the place where the Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties would worship Heaven and pray for bumper crops. Built first in 1420(the 18th year of Emperor Yongle’s reign of the Ming Dynasty), and then expanded and reconstructed during the Ming Emperor Jiajing’s reign and Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign, the Temple of Heaven is a grand and magnificent masterpiece of architecture with a formal and solemn environment. Since the founding of New China, the government has allotted a great sum of money to protect and restore the cultural monuments there. The Temple of Heaven with its long history, deep cultural content and magnificent architectural style mirrors the ancient culture of the Orient.

In the Temple of Heaven are situated such main buildings as the Hall of Prayer for Good harvests, the Hall of Heavenly Emperor, the Circular Mound, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Abstinence Hall, the Beamless Hall, the Long Corridor, the Longevity Pavilion in a double ring shape as well as the Echo Wall, the Three Echo Stones, and the Seven Meteoric Stones.

The Temple of Heaven is the largest architectural group for worshipping Heaven in the world. In 1961, it was listed by the State Council as ” one of the key monuments under the state protection”.In 1998, it was recognized by the UNESCO as “one of the human heritages of the world”.

天坛始建于明永乐十八年(1420年),总面积273公顷,经明嘉靖、清乾隆等朝增建、改建,建筑宏伟壮丽,环境庄严肃穆,是明、清两代皇帝“祭天”、“祈谷”的场所,坛域北呈圆形,南为方形,寓意“天圆地方”。四周环筑坛墙两道,把全坛分为内坛、外坛两部分,主要建筑集中于内坛。坛内主要建筑有祈年殿、皇乾殿、圜丘、皇穹宇、斋宫、无梁殿、长廊等,还有回音壁、三音石、七星石等名胜古迹。天坛集明、清建筑技艺之大成,是中国古建珍品,是世界上最大的祭天建筑群。1998年被联合国教科文组织列入”世界遗产名录”。

 

The Temple of Heaven is a worthwhile visiting place in Beijing. It is much bigger than the Imperial Palace (the Forbidden City) and smaller than the Summer Palace with an area of about 2 700 000 square meters. The temple was built in 1420 A.D. in the Ming Dynasty to offer sacrifice to Heaven. As Chinese emperors called themselves “the Son of Heaven”, they dared not to build their own dwelling “Forbidden City” bigger than the dwelling for Heaven.

在北京,天坛是一个值得参观的地方。它的面积约为270万平方米,比故宫(紫禁城)大得多,比颐和园小。天坛始建于明代公元1420年,为祭天之用。由于中国皇帝自称“天之子”,所以他们不敢使自己的住宅“紫禁城”比天的大.

The Temple of Heaven is enclosed with a long wall. The northern part within the wall is semicircular symbolizing the heavens and the southern part is square symbolizing the earth. The northern part is higher than the southern part. This design shows that the heaven is high and the earth is low and reflects an ancient Chinese thought of “The heaven is round and the earth is square”.

天坛被长长的围墙围着。墙里的北面部分是象征着上天的半圆环,南部是象征着大地的方形广场。北部高于南部。这种设计显示天在上,地在下,反映了中国古代人民“天圆地方”的思想.

The Temple of Heaven is divided by two enclosed walls into inner part and outer part. The main buildings of the temple lie at the south and north ends of the middle axis line of the inner part. The most magnificent buildings from south to north are the Circular Terrace, the Imperial Heavenly Vault and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. Also, there are some additional buildings like Three Echo Stones and Echo Wall.

两层围墙把天坛分为内坛和外坛。
天坛的主体建筑位于内坛中轴线的南北两端。最宏伟的建筑物从南到北依次是圜丘坛、皇穹宇和祈年殿。还有其他的建筑物,如三音石和回音壁。

the Imperial Vault of Heaven                    皇穹宇  (huáng qióng yǔ )

the Circular Mound Altar                           圜丘坛 (huán qiū tán )

the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests    祈年殿 ( qí nián diàn)

the Hall of Imperial Zenith                         皇乾殿 (huáng qián diàn)

the Hall of Abstinence                                 斋宫   (zhāi gōng)

 

the Echo Wall                                                  回音壁(huí yīn bì)

 

KEY WORDS:

1.  the Temple of Heaven                                  天坛(tiān tán)

2. the Imperial Vault of Heaven                    皇穹宇  (huáng qióng yǔ )

3. the Circular Mound Altar                           圜丘坛 (huán qiū tán )

4. the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests    祈年殿 ( qí nián diàn)

5.the Hall of Imperial Zenith                         皇乾殿 (huáng qián diàn)

6. the Hall of Abstinence                                 斋宫   (zhāi gōng)

7. the Echo Wall                                                  回音壁(huí yīn bì)

 

Editor:WY


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