Xian Travel Guide
Bell and Drum Towers
The Bell Tower of Xi'an , built in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty, is a symbol of the city of Xi'an and one of the grandest of its kind in China. The Bell Tower also contains several large bronze-cast bells from the Tang Dynasty. The tower base is square and it covers an area of 1,377 square meters. The tower is a brick and timber structure and close to 40 meters high.
There are several legends regarding the Bell Tower, one of them tells:
In Ming Dynasty, several earthquakes struck Guanzhong area, thousands are dead and injured. Then a legend appeared: There was a great river flowing across the center of Xi'an City. A dragon in the river was always active and caused trouble, so the earthquake happened. An official of Xi'an government believed these words, so he ordered the blacksmith of the whole city to make a several thousand feet long iron chain in order to lock the dragon and sink it to river. He then ordered 5,000 craftsmen to repair the Bell Tower day and night. In order, to use the tower to lock the dragon - the central of the city. He believes this should suppress the dragon firmly under the river and so it not longer can be active and cause trouble again. After establishing the Bell Tower, earthquake did not occur in Xi'an again.
The Drum Tower of Xi'an, located in the heart of Xi'an in Shaanxi province of China, along with the Bell Tower it is a symbol of the city. Erected in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty, it stand towering above the city center and offers incredible view of Xi'an.
The Drum Tower got its name from the huge drum located within the building. In contrast to the Bell Tower, where bell was stricken at dawn, drum was beat at sunset to indicate the end of the day.
On the Drum Towe's first floor, lies a hall which hangs many large drums. Each was decorated with intrinsic and beautiful Chinese writing, which symbolizes good fortune. The impressive arrays of drums are only on show and visitors are not allowed to touch any of them. But there is an extra drum near the front entrance where visitors can pose for pictures for a small fee.
Inside the Drum Tower there is also a drum museum, where a variety of drums are on display, some of which can be dated back thousands of years. There is a drum show performed here everyday. The top of the tower commands a panoramic view of the city.