Address: No. 6, Yuetan North Road, Xicheng District, Beijing
Occupied Area: About 8.12 hectares (81, 200 square meters)
Building Function: Emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912) worshiped the god of the moon and the celestial deities at Autumn Equinox.
Admission Ticket Fee
Adult and Children(aged 0-64)
Seniors(aged 65 and above with Chinese Seniors card or ID card)
(May 1-September 30)
(October 1-April 30)
No Admission Time
Overview of the Temple of the Moon
The Temple of the Moon is also called the Xiyue (the evening moon) Altar. It was the place where emperors of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368-1912) offered sacrifices to the god of the moon.
Temple of the Moon
The temple is composed of the North Garden and the South Garden. The North Garden features ancient buildings and roads of formal style, while the South Garden shows natural scenery for its rockery design, pools, and meandering roads.
In the North Garden, the Alter of the Moon has a square platform measuring 1.5 meters high and 13 square meters. Its surface is of white-colored glaze, and its six steps are all paved with white stones, which are the symbol of the moon.
The South Garden is also called Inviting the Moon (“yao yue” in Chinese). The Pond of Moonshine lies in the center of the South Garden. There are lots of pavilions that are named with the word “moon” highlighting the artistic conception of the moon.
History of the Temple of the Moon
The Temple of the Moon was originally named Xiyue Altar and was built in 1530.
In 1991, the Temple of the Moon officially opened.
On May 25, 2006, the Temple of the Moon was approved by the State Council to be included in the list of the sixth batch of important heritage site under state protection.
Main Scenic Spots at the Temple of the Moon
The Jufu Palace (aka Changing Palace), covered with green-glazed tiles, served as a place in which the emperor changed garments and had a break. The palace boasts three main halls facing south, and each of which owns three minor halls inside.
Outside the north gate, the tower is 17 meters high and 14 meters wide. A bronze bell on the second floor, 3 meters high and a weight of 2 tons, was made in the Ming Dynasty.
Interesting Stories of the Temple of the Moon
One day, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang (the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty) and his son and grandson were enjoying the glorious full moon. His son and grandson wrote poems about the moon. His son wrote, “Although the moon is not full, its moonlight spread around the earth.” The grandson wrote, “The shadow of the moon reflected in the lake, and no other shadows could cover its shadow.”
Emperor Zhu thought, however, their poems were indicative of something bad. In the end, his son died before Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, and his grandson, Emperor Jianwen, did not keep his throne for long and disappeared.
Recommended Travel Route
North Garden: Bell Tower →Accoutrements-storing Palace →Lingxing Gate →Platform of the Altar →Sacrifice-slaughtering Pavilion →Storehouse of Musical Instruments and Devices
South Garden: Heavenly Aroma Yard →Pond of Moonshine →Moon-appreciating Lawn →Moon-inviting Pavilion →Moon Odes Stele Gallery →Moon-accompanying Square
Ways to Get to the Temple of the Moon
The North Gate: Take bus 3, 13, 15, 19, 42, 56, or Night 12 and get off at the Temple of the Moon Station.
The South Gate: Take bus 21,423,456,606,618, or Night 20 and get off at the Stadium of the Temple of the Moon Station.
Take Metro Line 2, get off at the Fuchengmen Station, and walk about 1 kilometer.
Chinese: 请带我去月坛。English: Please take me to the Temple of the Moon.
If you go to the Temple of the Moon from the center of Beijing (Grand Hyatt Beijing), it takes about 30 minutes (about 30 yuan).
If you go to the Temple of the Moon from Beijing Capital International Airport, it takes about 56 minutes (about 110 yuan).
If you go to the Temple of the Moon from Beijing Daxing International Airport, it takes about 1 hour (about 180 yuan).
If you go to the Temple of the Moon from Beijing West Train Station, it takes about 14 minutes (about 20 yuan).
Tips: It takes you almost the same time and money whether you go to the north gate or the south gate.