Xian Bell Tower

Xian Bell Tower

The Xian Bell Tower was built in 1384 under the reign of Zhu Yuangang, the first emperor of the Ming Dynasty. A landmark in the centre of Xian, the Bell Tower is the intersection point of Xian's four major roads: North, South, East and West streets. The Xian Bell Tower is one of the grandest and most imposing in the whole of China and was originally used, along with its mirror image Drum Tower, as a form of communication in Xian. The tower is three-stories tall, stretching to a height of 36 meters. Like the nearby city walls, the Bell Tower is one of the best preserved ancient towers in the whole of China.

Inside the Xian Bell Tower sits a large imposing iron bell which is still used to mark the time today. Weighing five tons the bell, like the tower itself, dates back to the Ming Dynasty. The original bell, from the Tang Dynasty, was called Jingyun Bell. Much bigger than the present bell, legends tells that during the reign of the Ming Dynasty, the bell just stopped ringing and had to be replaced. You are able to climb the Bell Tower where you can enjoy panoramic views across the city. Every afternoon musicians gather on top to perform traditional music.

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Xian Bell Tower Map

Six Facts About Xian Bell Tower

Both the Bell Tower and Drum Tower are the symbols of Xian.

The Bell and Drum towers were used for time keeping – at 7pm the bells would chime 13 times. Every 2 hours after that the drums were beaten to keep time.

The Bell Tower has collections of old artefacts on show – bronze bells and stone chimes from the Tang Dynasty and old porcelain.

It’s worth visiting the Bell Tower at night – it is lit up beautifully.

The original Jingyun Bell is now housed at the Xian Forest of Stele Museum.

The Bell Tower today is in the middle of a roundabout and accessed by an underpass.

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