The Central Axis of Beijing, also called Dragon Pulse in ancient times, is as old as the city itself. It was laid out in 1403, with all the most important imperial structures such as the Temple of Heaven, the Imperial Palace and the Tian’anmen Gate being placed either directly on or alongside its 7.8 kilometers length. The arrangements strictly adhered to traditional conceptions so as to awe ancestors and the gods of the nature.
The Temple of Heaven
The Temple of Heaven was initially built in the eighteenth year of the Ming Dynasty (in 1420). Situated in the southern part of the city, it covers an area of 273 hectares. It is a place where Emperors from both the Ming and Qing Dynasties' traveled to worship and to pray for good harvest. The northern part of the Temple is round in contrast to the southern part, which is square, implying that "the sky is round and the earth is square" to symbolize both heaven and earth. There are a lot of prominent places in this park such as the Circular Mound Altar, the Imperial Vault of Heaven, the Long Corridor, the Echo Wall, the Seven-Star Stone and many other areas of historic interest and panoramic beauty. In 1998, it was included in the "List of World Heritages" by the United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Did you know that there are wonderful sounds to experience while at the Temple of Heaven? It's worth your time to make a trip there during your visit? Here are two that will definitely make your experience an unforgettable one.
1. The legend of the echo from the Temple's Echo Wall
There is a circular wall around The Imperial Vault of The Temple of Heaven, which many refer to as the Echo Wall. Legend has it that if you whisper at any point closest to the wall, it is said that one may be able to hear you clearly on the other side. It is said to be so clear that it almost sounds like talking on the phone.
2. The Heaven's Center Stone
There is a stone in the center of the Circular Mound Altar called the Heaven's Center Stone. Stand above it and shout loudly, you will hear the reverberation. Its a scenic spot that is one of the most frequented hot spots of the city. We're almost sure you'll enjoy your time there. (visitingbeijing.com.cn)