Temple of Earth

The Temple of Earth, also known as the Temple of Fang Ze or Ditan Park, is located in the northern part of central Beijing, around the Andingmen area and just outside of Beijing's second ring road. It is also located just a few hundred yards north of Yonghe Temple (Lama Temple). The temple once served as the place where emperors of the Ming and the Qing dynasties offered sacrifices to the God of Earth. Now, this temple is the largest of its kind in China. Its construction was initiated in 1530, the ninth year during the reign of Emperor Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty. Covering an area of 37.4 hectares, the square-shaped temple was built in light of some traditional beliefs and concepts in ancient China -"the heaven is round and the earth square"' "the heaven is blue and the earth yellowish", "the heaven is in the south and the earth is in the north", "the pair of long (the Chinese dragon) and phoenix", and "the comparison between heaven and earth". In the temple, there are several famous ancient architectures such as the Temple of Fang Ze, Huang Qi Hall (Hall of the God of Earth), the Butchering Pavilion, Abstaining Hall (where the emperors abstained from meat, wine and women before the sacrificial rituals), and Divine House.

Temple of Earth Beijing China

In 1925, the temple was opened up as "Jing Zhao Park". In 1928, the name was changed to "Citizens' Park", since when the park had become deserted. In 1957, the temple was opened to public again as "the Temple of Earth", its original name. Since 1981, special funds have been allotted by the central government to restore and repair the ancient temple.

On May 24, 1984, the Temple of Earth was listed among the cultural relics under the protection of the municipal government of Beijing and was opened to public with tickets required. On May 25, 2006, the temple became one of the cultural relics under the protection of the state. The previous imperial temple now is one of the most popular destinations for sightseeing and recreation among tourists from all over the world. 

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