Bell Tower, Drum Tower
Address: at the Intersection of the four avenues, Beiling District, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province
Tel: +86 29 87288397
General admission: 50 yuan
Bus no. 7,8,601,611,618: Zhonglou Bus Stop
Subway Line 2: Zhonglou Station
The Bell Tower and Drum Tower are definitely cultural landmark buildings of Xi'an.
Eaves covered by green glazed tiles, lavishly decorated interior space, crafted beams and pillars -- all of these make the tower a resplendent and magnificent scene. Avenues project from the Bell tower in four directions, reaching the north, south, east, and the west gates of the city that date to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1944).
The Bell Tower, built in 1384, the 17th year of the Hongwu reign (1368-1398), functioned as an emergency alarm and time-telling device It was initially built at the current Guangji Street opposite to the Drum Tower, and was relocated to its current location in 1582 by the Shenzong Emperor (r. 1573-1620). The Bell Tower is typical of the artistic style of architecture of the Ming Dynasty; with a triple-eaved pyramidal roof, it fully embodies the imperial magnificence.
The Drum Tower, located at the southern end of the Beiyuan Gate Street, is opposite to the Bell Tower. It was built four years earlier than the Bell Tower, and was rebuilt twice in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911): in 1699 by the Kangxi Emperor and in 1740 by his grandson the Qianlong Emperor. Standing on a square base penetrated with a north-south arch passageway, the two-storey Tower is a structure of timber and brick. An in-built spiral stair leads from the ground floor to the top. It is capped with a double-eaved roof covered mostly with grey tiles but having dark-green glazed tiles along the roof edges. Polychrome decorative paintings are seen on the beams and the bracket-sets (dougong).