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Xian Drum Tower

Features of Xian Drum Tower

The Drum Tower, also called Gu Lou in Chinese, is situated northwest of the Bell Tower of Xian. These two towers are named as the "sister buildings" or "morning bell and dark drum". In ancient China, especially from the time after Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the drums were used to mark the running of time and occasionally as an alarm in emergency situations.

Originally built in 380 under the reign of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), in 1699 and 1740 in the Qing  (1644-1911) Dynasty, Xian Drum Tower was twice renovated. It is in the structure of a two-storied post and panel, in the height of 34 meters (about 112 feet) and as long as 52.6 meters (about 172 feet) from east to west and 38 meters (about 124 feet) wide from north to south. The architecture style of the Drum Tower is an association of styles of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Qing Dynasty but also bears some creative features, among which the most worthy mentioned features is maybe tht there applies no iron nail in the whole construction process of the Drum Tower.

When you arrived at the Drum Tower, you will notice the arched doorway, measuring 6 meters (about 20 feet) in both height and width in the centre of the south and north walls. The north entrance leads to Beiyuan Men while the south to the West Avenue. You can go upstairs to the second floor to appreciate the scenes around the Drum Tower. What's more, there are twenty-four drums stand in the north and south sides of the Drum Tower. These drums stand for the Twenty-four Solar Terms, a kind of weather calendar created by the ancient Chinese to guide the agricultural production.

Although in modern ages, the Drum Tower is not employed as a timer any more, it is still worth a visit, since there are still some tourist attractions there. For instance, in 1996, a new drum, unfolded by a whole piece of cowhide was given a place on the Drum Tower, making it the biggest drum in China nowadays. Moreover, you can also enjoy musical performances there, which will definitely enlighten you on the power of ancient Chinese culture.

When finish touring the Drum Tower, you may round off your trip by tasting delicious snacks of Xian, Shaanxi in the Moslem Street (Huimin Jie) which is near the Drum Tower.

Xian Drum Tower Notes

1.Admission Fee: CNY 27 for the Bell Tower only and CNY 27 for the Drum Tower only; CNY 40 for the joint ticket of Bell Tower and Drum Tower
2.Opening Hours: 8:00 - 22:00 (Apr. 1 - Oct. 31); 8:00 - 17:30 (Nov. 1 - the next Mar. 31)
3.Recommended Time for a Visit: One hour
4.Bus Routes: 4, 6, 7, 8, 15, 32, 43, 45, 201, 205, 206, 215, 218, 221, 222, 251, 300, 604, 611, 612, K630, Tourist Bus No.8 (610), get off at Bell Tower Station which is to the east of Drum Tower.