Red Stairway Bridge - the Temple of Heaven Introduction - Beijing Destination Guide
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Red Stairway Bridge


The Red Stairway Bridge is a 360 meter passage that leads directly to the Gate of Prayer for Good Harvests. The bridge gradually increases in height from one end to the other. The southern end is about 1 meter high and the north end is about 4 meters high. It is 29.4 meters wide. The bridge represents the distance between the heaven and earth.

You can see three parallel paths on the bridge. Unlike other temples or the Forbidden City, the left path was reserved for the emperor. The central path was for the god of heaven while the right path was used by ministers.

The Red Stairway Bridge is called as such because there is a crossing under the bridge which was used by animals designated for sacrifice.

Near the northern end of the bridge is a 150 square meter terrace which the emperor used to change his robes. A tent was set up to insure his privacy. Within the tent, a throne, incense burners and other necessities could be found.

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