Posted by: danielfee | August 29, 2012

Travel Photo of the Day 08-29-2012

Imperial Vault of Heaven – Beijing, China

The southern group of buildings at the Temple of Heaven includes a multi-level circular marble terrace, the Alter of Heaven (Yuanqiu), which is the most spectacular of the city’s imperial alters. It is surrounded by two walls – an inner round one and an outer square one. The Imperial Vault of Heaven is a single-gabled circular building, built on a single level of marble stone base located inside the Echo Wall. It resembles the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, but is smaller. The Echo Wall (Huiyinbi) ingeniously conveys sound around its circumference. Sound is transmitted along the wall length with remarkable clarity (according to the travel books) but it is a little difficult to test this since the crowds tend to drown out the sound. On the other side of the Yuanqiu are the Echo Stones. If you stand on the first slab and clap your hands, you will hear a single echo. On the second step you will hear a double echo, and on the third step a triple echo.

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