Xiānnóng Altar & Běijīng Ancient Architecture Museum

Xiānnóng Altar & Běijīng Ancient Architecture Museum information

Location
Běijīng , China
Address
21 Dongjing Lu
Telephone
+86 6304 5608
Getting there
Subway: Taoranting
Prices
admission ¥15
Opening hours
9am-4pm
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This altar – to the west of the Temple of Heaven – was the site of solemn imperial ceremonies and sacrificial offerings. Glance at any pre-1949 map of Běijīng and you can gauge the massive scale of the altar, which was built in 1420. Today, many of its original structures survive, but what remains is a tranquil and little-visited constellation of relics. Located within what is called the Hall of Jupiter (太岁殿; Tàisuì Diàn) – the most magnificent surviving hall – is the excellent Běijīng Ancient Architecture Museum, which informatively narrates the elements of traditional Chinese building techniques. Brush up on your dǒugǒng (brackets) and sǔnmǎo (joints), get the low-down on Běijīng’s courtyard houses, while eyeballing detailed models of standout temple halls and pagodas from across the land. There’s a great scale model of the old walled city and English captions throughout. On Wednesdays, the first 200 visitors get in free.