Ritan Park – the Temple of Sun – is one of the four royal shrines,
and is the altar of the Sun. Built
in 1530 it was used by Ming and Qing Emperors to make sacrifices to
the gods. Now Ritan is one of Beijing’s more peaceful parks.
Certainly not as impressive or lively as the Temple of Heaven, Ritan
is one of the best spots to see old folk practice t’ai chi,
swordplay or twirling napkins in the morning without hordes of
tourists flooding the place. Stop in for a rest at the Stone Boat
Café or one of the other restaurants surrounding the park
Ritan (The Sun God Altar) was also known as Chaori altar, located in
the southeast of outer Chaoyangmen in Beijing. The altar was built
in the ninth year of Emperor Jiajing reign in the Ming Dynasty (AD
1530), and it was used to be the place where emperors in Ming and
Qing feted the "Sun God". The altar was shaped as a square.
In 1951 the Beijing government decided to expand the altar to an
area of 21 hectares for Ritan Park. Under the concern from Premier
Zhou Enlai, construction of South, North Gate and Exhibition
Showcase were completed. From then on, a series of construction were
Shengchunyuan and other places of interest within the park were
delicately arranged in the park.
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