GLS / 1981 / Beijing
Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan) Park
The Temple of Heaven (Tian Tan) is the most famous temple in China and was built in the 15th century.
It was restored in the 18th and 20th centuries, and is now part of the Temple of Heaven Public Park.
In photographs, Chinese buildings always appear gaudy, with over-the-top deep reds and gilded roofs, etc.
But in their natural setting they look much more acceptable.
This may be due to the climate.
During summer in north China the air is rarely clear, there is usually a haze from the dust which is blown from the Gobi desert.
In fact I had been in Beijing for over two weeks before I realized that the mountains were near enough to be seen from the city
- but the next day they had been swallowed up once more by the haze.
It is not a healthy climate and colds (the dreaded gan mao
) are common.
But buildings such as the Temple of Heaven look just right.
The bright colours and the gilding allow them to stand out against the haze.