The Imperial Ancestral Temple is the place where the emperors had paid their tribute to their ancestors every year. Hence, the temple was built just like palaces. However, due to the different number of deceased ancestors, the scale in the building of imperial ancestral temples had been quite various as well.
The Imperial Ancestral Temple, which is now the Cultural Palace of the Laboring People, lies to the left of the Gate of Heavenly Peace. In both the Ming and Qing Dynasties, sacrificial ceremonies were held on most important festival occasions in honor of the imperial family's ancestors. The temple is a neat cluster of buildings in three courtyards separated by walls. The frontal Hall, Middle Hall and Rear Hall are the main structures and on either side of them there is a row of side halls. In short, in the total design of constructing an imperial temple, the whole compound should be enclosed with woods and, what's more, between each structure there should appear a series of related buildings, including magnificent gates, halls, bridges and rivers, so as to make place even more solemn and respectful.