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The Bell Tower and Drum Tower

Updated:2008-06-06 10:19 | Source:

  The Bell Tower and Drum Tower, located at the

  north end of Dianmenwai street, are a group of

  ancient buildings at the north end of the central

  axis from south to north in the ancient capital of

  Beijing.

  As the time-keeping Centre in the capital of the

  Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, they have a long

  history. The Drum Tower was first built in the 9th

  year of Zhi Yuan Period of the Ming Dynasty (1272),

  and named Qi Zheng ( Orderly Administration) Tower.

  (It means seven administrations which are gold.

  wood. water. fire. earth. sun and moon). Later it

  was burnt down by fire. It was rebuilt in the first

  year of the Da De Period under the reign of Emperor

  Cheng Zong of the Yuan Dynasty (1297). It was

  rebuilt again in the 18th year of the reign of

  Emperor Yong Le of the Ming Dynasty (1420) when the

  Imperial Palace was under construction.

  The Drum Tower is 46.7 metres high. It is an arched

  wooden structure with three layers of upturned

  eaves, covered with grey tubeshaped tiles and edged

  with green glazed tiles. In the past there were a

  Bronze Clepsydra, 24 drums and one main drum on the

  second floor, but now only the drumhead remains

  there.

  The Bell Tower, situated due north the Drum Tower,

  was built in the 9th year of the Zhi Yuan period of

  the Yuan Dynasty (1272). Later it was burnt down. It

  was rebuilt in the 10th year of the Qian Long period

  of the Qing Dynasty (1745).

  The Bell Tower stands 47.9 metres high. It is an

  ancient domed, double-eaved tower made of stones and

  bricks covered with black glazed tiles and edged

  with green glazed tiles with no beam in the

  building. It appears a semi-sphere in the center of

  the roof over the second floor. Under the octagonal

  bell rack, there hangs a big bell which was

  inscribed with " It was built on a lucky day, month

  and year under the reign of Emperor Yongle" The Bell

  Tower is 63 tons in weight and is the biggest

  ancient bell in china.

  The Bell Tower and Drum Tower of Beijing were listed

  among the first batch of cultural relics under

  municipal protection in 1957 and listed as a

  cultural relic under state-level protection in 1996.

  (Source:

  http://www.ebeijing.gov.cn/Tour/ScenicSpots/)

Editor : Zhu Jia

Opening ceremony of Beijing Olympics