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Bell Tower

The Bell Tower in Xi'an is situated in the very heart of the city and at the junction of four main roads.Photo of Bell TowerThe original city Bell Tower was situated to the west of this site and the present construction was built in 1582 and restored in 1739. It has gained its name from the function it used to perform, to tell the time in the morning. Ever since its establishment, the tower has become the symbol of Xi'an.

The Bell Tower is a square-shaped construction with the height of the 36 meters, built on the 8-meter-high blue brick base with for corridors connected together. It occupies and area of 1,377 square meters.Three storeys of eaves are seen from the exterior of the buildings. The interior of the building is only two storeys. Colorful dougong -- a unique Chinese architecture of brackets inserted on the top of columns and crossbeams strengthen the building and enhance the artistic. The whole tower is a wooden structure with mortise and tenon jointed without a single iron nail. All this makes the tower look magnificent and grand.

There is a huge bell hanging on the roof of the tower which was traditionally used to tell the time by and there are other, smaller bells on exhibit in the tower too. The Bell Tower was then used for telling time, and the bell was stricken for 70 times each day. The sound of striking reached far and wide.

A legend about the Bell tower has it that first emperor of the Ming Dynasty, Zhu Yuanzhang, was born into a poor family. He had to work as a shepherd, herding sheep for the rich landowners. When he ascended the throne, he was afraid of being deposed by someone of "real dragon" (i.e. royal descent). he ordered bell towers to be built all over the country to repress the "dragon spirits".



Xian Tour Routes Covers Bell & Drum Tower
XD-2. Xian One Day City Tour
XH-7. 6 Days Xian Complete Tour
XK-7. Xian 6 Days Complete Tour

Photo of Bell and Drum Tower
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