We went to this park after visiting The Forbidden City. We were still in high spirits, and we walked across Tiananmen Square and all the way to the Temple of Heaven park (know as Tiãn Tán Gõngyuán). For $30 RMB, you can get into this park and check out "Hall of the prayer for good harvests", "Imperial vault of heaven" and "Circular mound". We entered the park from the west, and it took us quite a long time just to walk to the center of the park, where we could check out the buildings. Temple of Heaven Park is actually larger than the Forbidden City.
The most striking building in the park is the "Hall of the prayer for good harvests". This is a 38-meters-high (and 30 meters in diameter) circular temple painted in blue, green, gold, and red, and it was striking to see this temple against the blue-sky background. As the name indicates, this was a temple built for the worship of heaven and prayers for good harvests. According to our guidebook, it was built without the use of nails, cement, or steel rods, and this makes it even more amazing. The whole structure seems to rely on some big wooden pillars. These pillars had to be replaced some time ago, by the way, and according to the guidebook, the Chinese had to import this from the USA.
From this temple we walked on a causeway called "Vermilion Steps Bridge" south to get to "Imperial vault of heaven". According to our guidebook, this has a perfect circular wall, and just like the Whispering Gallery at St. Paul’s in London, one can stand on one side and talk to people on the other side. Our guide book also mentioned that trying this out may be tricky as we could expect quite a few loud Chinese trying it too. *grin* Fortunately, it was not crowded that day. My wife and I went to a side each and all of a sudden I could hear her voice saying "G, can you hear me?". I was quite surprised and said, "Yes." I think my wife was even more surprised than me because all she could say was "Really??"
In the southern end of the park, you will find a the "Circular Altar". This structure has three layered terraces made up with marble.