Friday, April 13, 2007

Bell Tower Beijing China

The 48m brick and stone Bell Tower stands just to the north of the Drum Tower and was built around the same time, although the present structure dates from the 18th century.

Bell Tower, Beijing

The huge, 42 ton, bronze bell at the top of the tower is 10cm thick, over 500 years old and was rung to mark the time. Legend has it that the bell-maker's daughter threw herself into the molten metal to ensure a successful casting after a number of previous failings.

The huge metal bell at the Bell Tower, Beijing

It is thought that the bell was rung to mark the time during the night to avoid waking the capital's citizens while the drum was used to wake people up at 5am - the designated time to rise, though the evidence is contrasting and the drum may also have been beaten at night as well.

There are good views from the top of the Bell Tower over the neighborhood rooftops and on a clear day the skyscrapers of downtown Beijing are also clearly visible.

The view of neigorhood hutong rooftops from the Bell Tower, Beijing

The square between the Drum and Bell Towers - Zhonggulou - is a pleasant, neighborhood plaza in the evening when the tourists have departed.

There are bell and drum towers in other Chinese cities, most notably Xian.

The Bell Tower (Zhonglou)
Tel: 6401 2674
The nearest subway station is Gulou on the Circle Line.

Hotels in Beijing

Books on China and Beijing

Book the Capital Hotel Beijing Book the Beijing Downtown Holiday Inn