The Temple of Heaven
Tour Day Five: Wednesday, April 25, 2001
Haunqiutan — Circular Mound Altar
Up We Go Again!
Every year at the time of the winter solstice, the emperor came here to offer sacrifice to the Heamen. Also known as the Terrace for Offering Sacrifice to the Heaven, Huanqiutan was built in 1530 or the 9th year of the reign of Emperor Jia Jin of Ming Dynasty and underwent reconstruction in 1749.
The surface of the altar was paved with mugwort-leaf-green stone and the balustrades and steles were carved out of white marble. Round-shaped and triple-tiered, Huanqiutan is surrounded by double low walls, the inner wall being round and the outer square, symbolizing that the Heaven is round and the Earth square. Exposed to wind and rain for more than 200 years, it remains intact and is one of the major scenic spots in the Temple of Heaven.
People wait in line to check for an echo by standing on the center disk.
Due to the flatness and smoothness of the inner side of the wall, sound can be transmitted along the inner arc. That is why it is also called Echo Wall.
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