“Imperial Vault of Heaven”
Built in 1530 and restored in 1752, the The Imperial Vault of Heaven housed the tablet of God and the tablets of the Emperor’s eight ancestors. It is a smaller version of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. Surrounded by an echo wall, whispers spoken on one side can be heard on the other side. It is connected to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest by the Vermilion Steps Bridge, a 360 meter raised walkway that leads to the Hall of Prayer. The left and right doors in the gates are for tourists. The central door is reserved for Gods and Emperors. It is closed. On this south side, representing Earth, the gate buildings are square. The north gate buildings are rounded, as Heaven is round. Photographed from the third tier of the Altar of Heaven. *Full disclosure: There were some tourists in this photograph. I eliminated them in Photoshop. No one was hurt and their electrons were 100% recycled.