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Royal Ancestral Temple

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The Royal Ancestral Temple (Tai Miao) is located at the east part of the Tiananmen Rostrum in Dongcheng district, Beijing. Covering an area of 139,650 square meters, it was built in the Ming dynasty in year 1420 and known as the place that the Ming and Qing emperors used to offer sacrifices to their ancestors. And it is one of the most well preserved intact Ming architecture building groups.

The rectangular temple is 475 meters long from south to north and 294 meters wide from east to west. There are three rings of walls that divide the entire temple into front, middle and back sections. The main hall, 11 bays wide and four bays deep, stands at the center of the whole construction group, covering an area of 2,240 square meters. With a double-eave hip roof, the hall rests on a three-layered white marble Sumeru base surrounded by stone railings. The beams and columns are covered in sandalwood and nanmu decorations made of rare spun gold. There are 15 rooms located on both sides of the main hall. Before it to the south is a spacious courtyard with long corridors enclosing it on each side. At the southern end of the courtyard is a compound with a pavilion and several exquisite stone bridges spanning the Golden River (Jinshuihe). The Royal Ancestral Temple is also famous for its cypress trees, most of which are hundreds of years old.

After the founding of the Peoples Republic of China in the Labor Day of 1950, according to the suggestion of the prime minister Zhou Enlai, the Royal Ancestral Temple was renamed as the Labor Peoples Culture Palace and used as the learning and training place for all the capital workers. And in the main southern gate, there is hanging the inscription of Labor Peoples Culture Palace (Lao Dong Ren Min Wen Hua Gong in Chinese) which written by China's great leader Mao Zedong.

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