Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven

While we were in Beijing, we visited the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It was freezing cold outside, but so worth the trip!

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests

The Temple of Heaven is a large area, mostly known for this amazing building, which is called the Hall of Prayer for buy viagra no prescription Good Harvests. Apparently there’s a replica of it at Disney World.

temple-far The temple was used by the Emperor to pray for good harvests (yes, human sacrifice was involved). The Emperor was considered the

son of heaven, so he represented heavenly authority.

diptych-us temple Most historical buildings in China are rectangular buildings with yellow roofs, symbolizing royalty. Buildings that symbolize heaven, like this one, are round and have a blue roof.

diptych-individual side It’s completely wooden, and has no nails. The reason it looks like it’s in great shape is becuase it’s not actually old…the original was burned down. Even so, it was pretty magnificent to look at.

Summer Palace

We also visited the Summer Palace, which served as a summer resort for Empress Dowager. The place was enormous – I think we only saw some of it.

vista temple-2 I believe this is a temple (?) across Kunming Lake, which is rich with pearls.

lotus Too bad we came during the winter. The lake would have been covered with blooming lotus flowers.

IMG_2421 We went down this walkway along the lake.

window Each one of the windows on the walkway was a different shape. We saw this motif everywhere – not just in the old buildings in China, but echoed in modern architecture

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as well.

diptych-hallway We then walked down the Long Corridor, which is completely covered with the most intricate paintings.

hallway-outside2 hallway-detail hallway-top Each one of those beams has a painting!

middle This was at the halfway point in the corridor.

rooftops building-palace boat This is the Marble Boat.

diptych-rock This is the first time we learned about China’s fascination with rocks. There’s several of these giant rocks that were dug up from the lake, each representing a zodiac animal (squint and turn your head,

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and you might be able to make something out). We went to a few more gardens in China after this one, and they’re also full of these rocks.

Calligraphy

write One of the coolest things we saw on the trip were old men practicing calligraphy at the Summer Palace. They used special brushes with a sponge tip on one end and a plastic bottle filled with water viagra on the other end. This is considered a type of exercise for the elderly.

writing2 It looked like he has been doing this for years. He wrote the characters of a poem very quickly, and with absolute perfection. The water would evaporate on the pavement not long after, which made the entire scene magical.

writing-style There were other people doing different styles of calligraphy.

writing

3 Comments

Got something to say? Feel free, I want to hear from you! Leave a Comment

  1. Joao says:

    Wow, really nice. I specially liked this “old man kind of exercise doing calligraphy thing”. Do you have a video of him doing it? I´d love to see this.

    All the best to you, great post.

  2. Matthew says:

    Great photos. I think you are right about the old man. He was there in 2008 and 2011 when I visited.

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