Amongst the key sites that make Xian such a great city to explore, the Bell Tower offers much to discover and here are some useful insights.
A Bit of History
The original tower dates to 1384, built during the Ming Dynasty under the patronage of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. Initially, it was located near the Drum Tower though interestingly, since the geographical centre of the city changed, its position was accordingly shifted in 1582. During days of old, the tower housed a huge bell that is said to have been rung at dawn.
Those staying at city centre hotels in Xian will find the Bell Tower within easy reach. Only around a 10-minute walk from Grand Park Xian near South Gate Square, this site can also be reached by bus or via the Bell Tower Metro Station. The tower can be accessed through the north side where you will find an underpass in which to enter.
Design & Features
Reaching a height of 36 metres, this impressive ancient tower is the largest of its kind in China and stands on a 35.5-metre-long brick base. Those venturing inside will find Ming-style architecture along with eves with glazed tiles of dark green hue, a bell that’s smaller in size than the original and engravings on the doors.
Amongst the best things to do is to catch one of the musical performances that take place at the Bell Tower at set times daily. For a change of scenery, head up to the terrace where you can take in some mesmerising panoramas of Xian. Don’t forget to visit the tower at night when it’s lit up offering a whole new sight to photograph!