Temple of Heaven - South Gate
First stop: the South Gate to the Temple of Heaven (barely visible in the distance).
Bikes are everywhere and here's a bike parking area outside the entrance of the Temple of Heaven. Doesn't even look like the bikes are locked up.
From the South Gate
Along the path towards the Temple of Heaven, taking a look back towards the South Gate. There's a certain majesty to the path and one could imagine the pomp on display here in the past.
Circular Mound Altar (圜丘坛)
Entrance to the sacrificial altar.
One of the first examples of the intricate ornamental pieces found in these historical places.
Triple Sound Stone (三音石)
From on top of the sacrificial altar, looking ahead to the next attraction.
Imperial Vault of Heaven (皇穹宇)
The first main temple.
On the Vermillion Steps Bridge (丹陛桥)
Nearing the northern end, with the exit towards the Hall of Prayer ahead.
The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests (祈年殿)
The highlight of the Temple of Heaven. This was where emporors came to pray for good harvests.
Entrance to the Hall of Good Harvests (祈年殿)
Intricate carvings on the stone on the way up to the Hall of Prayer.
The building apparently was built without any nails, which is pretty impressive. Not to mention the intricate detail applied to everything.
North Entrance to the Hall of Prayer
Temple of Heaven Park
Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square
The place of assembly for the National People's Congress.
Monument to the People's Heroes
Situated in the center of Tiananmen Square.
Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
Close up of the Monument to the People's Heroes
Statues Around the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong
National Museum of China
Didn't get a chance to go inside, but it probably holds an impressively large number of artifacts.
Looking south towards Mao's mausoleum.
From Tiananmen Square, looking at the entrance to the Imperial City (and the Forbidden City further within).
Tiananmen, Side View
Heading towards the Imperial City.