Bell Tower Xian
The Bell Tower is situated in the very heart of the Xian city and at the junction of four main roads .It houses a bell which was originally used to stricke time every morning in ancient times . Now, The Bell Tower has become the symbol of Xi'an. The Bell Tower, is a stately traditional building, that marks the geographical center of the ancient capital. From this important landmark extend East, South, West and North Streets, connecting the Tower to the East, South, West and North Gates of the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty
HistoryThe Bell Tower's history can be traced back to the Ming dynasty. Each Ming city had a bell tower and a drum tower. The bell was sounded at dawn and the drum at dusk. The Bell Tower was originally set at the intersection of Xi Dajie (West Street) and Guangji Jie (Guangji Street) in the Yingxiang Temple, which was the center of the site of the old Tang Imperial City. It was removed to its present place in 1582 in the center of the southern section of the walled city and was restored several times.
The wooden tower, which is the largest and best-preserved of its kind in China. The tower has a square-shaped brick platform, each side of which is 35.5 meters (116 feet) long and 8.6 meters (28 feet) high and on the top is a triple-eaved, two-storey wooden structure with carved beams and color-painted rafters, a further 27.4 meters (90feet) high. Colorful dougong -- a unique Chinese architecture of brackets inserted on the top of columns and crossbeams strengthen the building and enhance the artistic. The design of this kind is also perceptible from the engravings on bronze wares dating back to the Warring States Period (475-221 B.C.). The inside is remarkable as an example of the very intricate roof truss system used in Ming and Qing wooden architecture. In a corner of the brick platform is a Ming-period bell.
On the second floor, a plaque set in the west wall records the
relocation of the tower in 1582. When it was first built in 1384,
it stood near the Drum Tower on the central axis of the city, and
continued to mark the center of the city since Tang Dynasty and
the following the Five Dynasties and the Song and Yuan Dynasties.
As the city grew, however, the geographical center changed. Therefore,
in 1582, the Tower was moved 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) east of the
original site. Except for the base, all parts are original, and
history tells us that the relocation was accomplished quickly and
inexpensively, making it a truly notable achievement in the architectural
history in China.
Admission Fee: RMB 20
Opening Hours: 08:00 to 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: 3 hours