china edition


Xian - Bell and Drum Tower

Shaanxi - Xian - Yan'an

The Bell and Drum Tower in the city of Xian date back to the Ming dynasty. 4 streets radiate from the Bell Tower, extending to the north, south, west and east.

The Drum Tower is at a short distance, to the northwest of the Bell Tower. Each Ming city had a bell tower and a drum tower. The bell was sounded at dawn and the drum at dusk.

Bell Tower

The Bell Tower in Xian is situated in the very heart of the city and at the junction of 4 main roads. The original city Bell Tower was situated to the west of this site and the present construction was built in 1582 and restored in 1739. It has gained its name from the function it used to perform, to tell the time in the morning. Ever since its establishment, the tower has become the symbol of Xian.

Drum Tower

To the west of the Bell Tower is the Drum Tower which was built in 1380. This tower marks the entrance to the city's Muslim Quarter which is a lovely area to wander and observe.

There used to be a huge drum in the tower which told the time at dusk; hence, the name Drum Tower. The bell in the Bell Tower and the drum in the Drum Tower, have been referred to as "the Morning Bell" and "the Dusk Drum".

The Drum Tower is a very strong and solid building. It has withstood more than 10 earthquakes for over 500 years and there is not a single crack appearing on it. The Drum Tower is now a historic monument in Shaanxi Province. After 2 large-scale renovations, the tower has been restored to its former beauty.