The grand Xian Bell Tower is steeped in China’s rich history and has been a symbol of tradition in generations of past, present and to come. Built during the Ming Dynasty in 1384, it denotes an important geographical landmark as it interconnects with north, south, east and west gates of the City Wall which is at the heart of Xian city.
The square based structure built entirely of wood is well preserved, even today. It stretches across 1377 square meters and is roughly more than 40 meters in height. The tower is noted for its unique architecture as contains three green coloured eaves with gold coloured paintings, typical of Ming architecture. In addition, various intricate carvings on the doors of the tower signify ancient stories from the Ming and Qing empires. Originally the tower was located close to the Drum Tower of Xian, but its location was changed to its present day site due to the population growth of the city. The purpose of the Xian Bell Tower in ancient times was to notify the people of time, specially the distinction between morning and night, as bell-ringing would denote morning and drum beating would signify night time.
The tower is accessible via an open pedestrian passageway which is surrounded by a beautiful garden of flowers. In times gone by it was open for traffic. However this was prohibited as the amount and range of traffic aimed to threaten the preservation of the tower.
Legend has it that the Bell Tower was damaged in severe earthquakes during the Ming Dynasty, but it was repaired to guarantee that the dragon in the city’s river was subdued to ensure that earthquakes do not hit the Xian region again. Another legend tells the story of Zhu Yuanzhang, an orphan boy who became an emperor and was insecure that he would be dethroned by the actual heir. Thus, he built the Xian tower in order to fight the dragon’s power which was believed to stay true to the real heir.
Travellers wanting to visit the Xian Bell Tower and looking for self catering style Xian accommodation can stay at Citadines Xingqing Palace Xi’an. Guests of these service apartments Xian would be pleased to find a variety of modern amenities such as broadband internet connectivity available and numerous types of residences to choose from.