Tianjin (Beijing), People's Republic of China
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Appproximately 11½ Hours
Meals not included
Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing
"The Temple of Heaven, founded in the first half of the 15th century, is a dignified complex of fine cult buildings set in gardens and surrounded by historic pine woods. In its overall layout and that of its individual buildings, it symbolizes the relationship between earth and heaven – the human world and God's world – which stands at the heart of Chinese cosmogony, and also the special role played by the emperors within that relationship."
Classical Chinese architecture and an overwhelming depth of cultural wealth are on display in the Forbidden City.
A motorcoach drive from the pier at Xingang takes you west, inland to Beijing and the Forbidden City’s gateway. The city was originally built as a dwelling for the Ming and Qing Dynasties and covers an area of 250 acres. Here, the emperors and (later) China’s religious élite dwelt in seclusion, the lives of all therein ordered by a complex set of rules and taboos. There is time to explore some of the best-known structures in this magnificent collection of palaces and temples.
After lunch at a hotel restaurant, you’ll stop at Tian’anmen Square -- the very heart of Beijing. This is the largest square in the world, sprawling 34 acres.
Discover the Temple of Heaven -- a group of buildings in a walled park south of Beijing. The most famous of the temples is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. After some time to enjoy this remarkable setting you will return to the ship via the road to Xingang.
Please note: Wear comfortable walking shoes.