Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall

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North of the altar is the Baidian (Hall of Worship). Built in 1425 in the Ming Dynasty, it is now the best-preserved Ming Dynasty temple of wooden structure in Beijing. There is no ceiling under the roof, so the beams and posts are exposed. In 1928, it was renamed the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall. Since 1949, the building has been thoroughly repaired and redecorated.

The building behind this was formerly the front gateway of the al-tar, inside which 72 iron halberds were kept. They were looted away when the combined forces of the eight imperialist powers invaded Beijing in 1900. Further back are the Cypress Yard and Houhu (Rear Moat). In the courtyard the tourist may find tables built with Han Dynasty Bricks in quaint patterns.

From the garden, a straight path leads to the altar, which was once used by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for offering sacrifices to the gods of land and grains. The altar is a square terrace of white marble with three tiers. The top tier is sectioned and filled with earth in five different colours (red, black, blue, white, and yellow) to symbolize the feudal dictum: “All land under heaven belongs to the Emperor.”

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