Chinese garden has played a very important role throughout the development of Chinese society ever since the earliest dynasty.

Temple of Earth-Beijing Garden & Park

Temple of earthTemple of Earth, an ancient imperial garden which served as the destination for sacrifices offering occasions was located just at northern side of the Lama Temple. Besides that, it is also the oldest place which served for sacrifices offering to the God of Earth (sometimes translated as the God of Agriculture) throughout the history of China. Within 1531 to 1911, there were as much as 15 emperors of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1636-1912) who held the ceremonies of worshipping God of Earth continuously for about 381 years.
Temple of earthBefore Ming Dynasty, the ceremony of worshipping God of Heaven and God of Earth were carried out at the Temple of Heaven. This practice had come to the end in year 1530 when a new rule that sacrifices offering to be done at four different places which located at the four compass directions with the Forbidden City as the geographical center for four significant God which was set by the emperor. As a result of that new rule, construction for the Temple of Earth had begun. Temple of Earth was built as the north of the Forbidden City while Temple of Heaven is located at the south of Forbidden City. Temple of Sun and Temple of Moon are situated at East and West side of the palace.
Temple of earthThe Temple of Earth was named as Fangzetan (Fangze Altar) at the first place. It was renamed as Temple of Earth in 1534. Temple of Earth was divided into Inner Temple and Outer Temple with the main altar located at the center of the temple. There were many side constructions that surrounded the altar such as The Imperial Respecting House, The Sacrifice Pavilion, The Fast Palace and the Divine Warehouse. The area of this temple is not that large for about 37.3 hectares only which is just about half of one quarter when compared to the Temple of Heaven. Temple of earth
Fangzetan, the center altar where sacrifices offering ceremonies were taken place was built in square shaped with a smaller square placed above a larger square. The height of the smaller square is 1.28 meters with 20.5 meters on each side while the square at the bottom is 1.25 meters height with 35 meters length on each side. This platform which served as the Worship Platform is the main attraction in this temple. Such design of this altar might cause people to have a first impression as a small and simple construction. However, many unique Chinese styled architectural concepts had been inserted in such a simple construction. Elements such as comparison, significance, transparency, optical illusion etc could be found in this design. From here, the advance thoughts of the ancient designers could be clearly seen. 
Temple of earthNowadays, The Temple of Earth which is also a listed national heritage has encountered a number of renovations and reconstructions in order to provide a better surrounding for visitors. There are about 116 species of plantations in the park with greenery landscaping of over 72% of the area. Thus, this imperial garden in previous age has become one of the famous recreational parks for locals as well as foreigners.