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The Temple of Earth

The Temple of Earth is close to Yonghegong (Lama Temple) Subway Station, is one of the Beijing's famous travel attractions. For three thousand years, emperors held memorial ceremonies to the earth here. Built in 1530 in Ming Dynasty, the Temple of Earth in Beijing is the only existing place to worship the god of earth. Part of the beauty of the venue is its fine collection of ancient cypresses.

According to ancient Chinese concept, heaven is round in the south, while earth is square in the north. Therefore the Temple of Earth is situated in northern part of Beijing, to echo with the Temple of Heaven in the south. The Temple of Earth’s construction includes many square altars and walls.

The Temple of Earth was a forbidden area to ordinary people before, but fell into disuse in late Qing Dynasty. Adding to the temple are some gardens and ball courts. The surrounding areas have become an open space for people to have leisure activities. During Chinese New Year, there is a traditional temple fair held here, which has become a popular annual event now.


a queen's portrait of the Qing dynasty
a queen's portrait of the Qing dynasty
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