The Temple of Heaven

No photo can do justice to the beauty and grandeur of the Temple of Heaven. We had seen it in pictures before visiting, but upon arrival, we were dazzled by the magnificence of the place.

Located in a vast park, the Temple of Heaven is a complex of pavilions and altars. Every year, emperors came here to pray for divine favor and good harvests. The ceremonies involved prayers, rituals, and sacrifices. The architecture, primarily circular in form, is meticulously crafted with perfect symmetry down to the smallest detail.

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is the largest temple, standing on three marble terraces and topped with a triple-tiered roof in blue and violet hues. The wooden pillars, elaborately decorated as always, support the roof without the use of nails or screws! It’s worth noting that the temple stands 38 meters tall and has a diameter of 30 meters, a remarkable feat for its time and still impeccably preserved today!

Another unique feature of the temple is the Echo Wall. This 65-meter long wall has incredible acoustic properties that allow you to hear whispers from one end to the other.

After exploring all the pavilions, you’ll enter a beautiful park where locals gather to play, exercise, dance, and make music.

Make sure to enjoy the neighborhood’s specialty: Peking duck! Unlike the version we have in France, Peking duck in Beijing is a true delight, both in taste and presentation, and it’s a must-try while you’re there!

The Great Wall

It was undoubtedly the one that fascinated me the most, the reason for our journey. To see the Great Wall, or at least a small section of it! Remember, the Great Wall stretches over 8,850 kilometers across the entire country, all the way to the border with North Korea.

If I recall correctly, we visited the section at Badaling, one of the closest to Beijing but also the most touristy. However, this didn’t detract from our enjoyment of the place and the sense of tranquility it exudes.

Armed with our sneakers, we trekked along the wall, and it’s quite a workout! One thing’s for sure, they weren’t strict about uniformity in step heights! You can find yourself stepping on tiny stairs one moment and giant ones the next! But once atop a tower, the view is breathtaking! The wall winding through valleys, ascending, descending, twisting and turning amidst the trees—it’s absolutely stunning!

At the foot of the section, there’s a temple where you can write your prayer or wish and hang it on the branches of trees.

About Author

We are Sophie, Adrien, and our two adorable little ones. Passionate about travel, discovery, and gastronomy, we bought a 2007 Rapido camper van to travel differently, travel more, and introduce our children to the world. Here, we share our wonderful discoveries and tips for activities to do with children in France and beyond ! Welcome !

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