the bell tower & the drum tower in xi’an

Monday, April 20:  Finally, on my last day in Xi’an, I wake up to sunshine.  I’m glad because I have a lot I want to see today before flying back to Nanning tomorrow morning.  I enjoy the buffet breakfast in the hotel, then I head out toward the Muslim Quarter.  I make stops at the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower on my way there.

The Bell Tower was built in the 17th year of Hongwu (1384 AD) of the Ming dynasty.  It’s named for a huge bell hung in the tower to tell the time.  The tower is a mixed structure of bricks and wood, is 1370 square meters, and is 36 meters high with the architectural style of the Ming dynasty. It has undergone many repairs since 1949.

Bell at the Bell Tower

Bell at the Bell Tower

I walk around the perimeter of the tower, which sits in the middle of a roundabout, and see views in all directions.  This is the view to the north.

the view north from the Bell Tower

the view north from the Bell Tower

I can see the Drum Tower to the northwest.

Looking west to the Drum Tower

Looking west to the Drum Tower

Looking directly west I can see the busy streets of Xi’an and the Drum Tower to the right.

The view west from the Bell Tower

The view west from the Bell Tower

The Imitated Qin Chime Bells, 39 pieces altogether, are reproduced in line with the Yuefu bells unearthed from the mausoleum of the first emperor of the Qin dynasty and the Bianbo bells excavated in Meixian and Fufeng counties of Shaanxi province.

In the Chime Bell room are some interesting Chinese paintings.

Chinese paintings

Chinese paintings

According to a placard in the room, this set of imitated chime bells includes 7 bo bells, 18 Yong bells, and 14 Niu bells.  They are exquisite in decorative patterns and are in timbre.  Such classical musical instruments could produce tunes of all kinds, ancient and modern, Chinese and foreign.

The Imitated Qin Chime Bells

The Imitated Qin Chime Bells

I adore the colorful painted ceilings in this room.

pretty painted ceilings

pretty painted ceilings

swirls and squares

swirls and squares

another Chinese painting

another Chinese painting

Outside, I admire the iconic flying eaves that are so perfectly Chinese.

flying eaves of the Bell Tower

flying eaves of the Bell Tower

ceiling in the Bell Tower

ceiling in the Bell Tower

I see the view looking south to the south gate of the city walls.  My hotel is along this stretch, only a block or two from the tower.  It’s the perfect location for exploring Xi’an.

View south from the Bell Tower

View south from the Bell Tower

I love the red doors and the carvings on the railings that make interesting shadows on the walkway.

walkway on the perimeter of the Bell Tower

walkway on the perimeter of the Bell Tower

I come full circle and see the western view again.

View west from the Bell Tower

View west from the Bell Tower

After leaving the Bell Tower, I walk west to the Drum Tower, built in the 13th year of Hongwu (1380 AD) of the Ming dynasty.  It’s named for the huge drums laid in the tower to tell the time.  The tower is also a mixed structure of bricks and wood, occupies an area of 1840 square meters, and is 34 meters high in the typical architecture of the Ming dynasty.  Like the Bell Tower, it has undergone many repairs since 1949.

The Drum Tower

The Drum Tower

Eaves of the Drum Tower

Eaves of the Drum Tower

Drums at the Drum Tower

Drums at the Drum Tower

It just so happens that I arrive at the Drum Tower just in time to hear the drum performance.

A drum performance

A drum performance

painted drum

painted drum

dragon drum

dragon drum

Fast motion drummer

Fast motion drummer

Walking around the back rim of the Drum Tower, I can see Beiyuanmen in the Muslim Quarter.  It doesn’t look quite as busy as it was last night.

View of Beiyuanmen in the Muslim Quarter

View of Beiyuanmen in the Muslim Quarter

more drums at the Drum Tower

more drums at the Drum Tower

From the Drum Tower, I can see some gardens and the Bell Tower to the east.

View from the Drum Tower back to the Bell Tower

View from the Drum Tower back to the Bell Tower

Around the north side of the Drum Tower, there is the usual bustling commerce that’s ubiquitous throughout China.

View to the northeast from the Drum Tower

View to the northeast from the Drum Tower

view northwest from the Drum Tower

view northwest from the Drum Tower

After leaving the Drum Tower, I head down and out to explore the Muslim Quarter and the Great Mosque.

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Categories: Asia, Bell Tower, China, Drum Tower, Shaanxi, Travel, Xi'an | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “the bell tower & the drum tower in xi’an

  1. Wonderfully colourful ceilings – the Op-Art circle in the middle of one looks out of place amongst the rest of the decoration. Lovely bells and drums. I can’t get excited about the rest of the city though. I wonder if the Chinese decorate their own houses so colourfully?

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    • I loved those ceilings, Jude, even that Op-Art circle. Xi’an really is one of the nicest of China’s big cities, along with Shanghai. In my eyes, Chinese cities don’t come close to European ones, but I try to appreciate them for what they do offer. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The ancient in the midst of the modern. So typically Asian.

    Like

  3. I loved the pictures of the tower and the city! You did well showing us both plus all the details of everything else.

    Nancy

    Like

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