Temple of Earth is located outside of Andingmen of Beijing and the place for Emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties to show worshipping and sacrifice to the earth god. It is the only temple of earth with the longest lasting time for sacrifice. Since 1531, there were 15 emperors held the sacrifice ceremony here until 1911. Totally it has 381 years.

In the Ming Dynasty, the ceremonies of worshipping heaven and earth all together held in Temple of Heaven until 1530. The Temple of Earth is divided into the inner temple and the outer temple. Centering on the sacrifice and worshipping, there are many architectures surrounding the Temple of Earth such as Huangdi Room, Zhaigong (Palace of Abstinence), Divine Depot, Divine Kitchen, Pavilion of Sacrificing Domestic Animals and Bell Tower and so on. It does not cover a large area like Temple of Heaven. It only has 37.3 hectares, roughly 1/8 area of Temple of Heaven. The square for ceremony is named Fangzetan(方泽坛) and has 1.28 meters high and 20.5 meters long in the upper section. And it is 1.25 meters high and 35 meters long in the lower section.

In ancient China, the ideology of Round Heaven and Square Earth was very largely accepted. Hence, as the architecture for worshipping the earth, the most highlighted point is the use of square, which is the symbol of the earth. The use of color also shows the strong tradition. The symbolic colors, the builders just use four kinds, which are yellow, red, brown and white. In 2006, as the ancient architecture, Temple of Earth was approved to be the sixth batch of cultural relics under the state protection.

 

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