Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Return to Tiantan

Before 2004, I had never heard of Tiantan. Now it is truly one of my favorite buildings. Located a bit of a walk south from Tiananmen Square, it is a place that I would guess most Americans don't know about, but many have seen in passing.

Hey, Marcia. Remember that building on the front of the Chin and Lee take-out menu? I promised I would take a picture of me in front of it and send it to you. I know I'm supposed to hold up the menu, but will this suffice?

Tiantan, also known as the Temple of Heaven, is the place where the feng shui masters of ancient China said that heaven meets earth. Back then, only the emperor and his entourage were allowed to go. He would visit twice a year, once in the spring to pray for a bountiful harvest and once at winter solstice to offer thanks for the year's blessings.

Now it is one of the leading tourist spots in Beijing. People from all over China make a pilgrimage to see it and walk on the beautiful grounds that boast 800 year old cypress trees and nooks and crannies filled with gardens and other amazing structures.

To return to Tiantan without a tour guide (that's the stuff of another blog) was a wonderful experience. To be able to sit and stare at this highly decorated, ancient building that was constructed without any nails was a highlight I will be ready to back and see in every season.



At 3:05 PM, Blogger MaMa said...

Great photo Desi - I loved that spot was actually the last tourist site I saw in Beijing...


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