A black-and-white photograph showing the mighty dragon pillar in the Qinian Hall (Qiniandian 祈年殿), literally meaning “Hall of Annual Prayers”, at the Temple of Heaven (Tiantan 天壇) in Beijing. In front of the statue of Confucius are five other objects.
Qinian Hall is the central temple in the several-hectare complex built in 1420 by the Yongle Emperor (reigned 1402–1424). Here the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties performed the rites of heavenly worship twice a year.
The photograph is the 226th of 449 photographs of Beijing and its surroundings in the album of Ivan Skušek Jr., purchased during his stay in Beijing (1914–1920). In the handwritten inventory of the album, the photograph is referred to as Drachen-Säule im “Blauen Tempel”. (DZ, MV)