Bell and Drum Towers, Beijing
At the top of the Bell Tower is a single bell that is 47.9 meters in height and has a surface area of 1478 square meters.
The bell was used for time announcements which had a particular system. The system included 18 fast strikes, 18 slow strikes and 18 strikes that were nether fast nor slow. This was done twice and equaled 108 strikes.
The last photo tells of a legendary story of how the Bell Tower was made.
The Bell Tower is commonly done with seeing the Drum Tower. See Drum Tower for details on time and cost for both.
There is a short performance certain times of the day. The schedule is posted at he ticket office. Interesting show and worth trying to plan your visit in order to see the show.
The Drum Performances are at 9:30am, 10:30, 11:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30. I was lucky to arrive in time for one of the performances here.
Here is the performance: Drum Performance
Located in the Dongcheng district. Entry fee 20 yuan or 30 yuan for a combo ticket that includes the Bell Tower. Housed in the tower were 25 large drums. One main drum and 24 mass drums. The number was 24 for the twenty four Qi of the Chinese traditional lunar calendar. Only the one main drum remains.
The Drum Tower is open from 9am to 5pm.
The buildings are very interesting and if it isn't too hazy you can get a good view of the area around them. Both have long flights of stairs to get to the top and there are drum performances scheduled periodically during the day at the Drum Tower. They are very close to each other and the admission for both is 30 Yuan.
After our tour through the Hutongs in the Ho Hoi area we moved on to the Drum Tower with our guide. From the top of the Drum Tower we could see the skyline of Beijing. Off in the distance, almost forboding looking, is The Forbidden City, forever preserved from destruction.
In my opinion the bell and drum tower are not really the "must see" attraction in Beijing. You have pay entrance for the bell and drum tower. I think if you see the drum tower you have seen enough. The view is ok but not fantastich. I think a small walk in the hutongs around the towers is more interesting. Around the tower are also some places where their is a place to sit and were you can get a drink at low cost.
Gulou, the drum tower of Beijing, is situated at the northern end of the central axis of the Inner City to the north of Di’ anmen Street. Originally built for musical reasons it was later used to announce the time and is now a tourist attraction.
Zhonglou, the bell tower of Beijing, stands closely behind the drum tower.
Situated north of the Forbidden City are two towers. The southernmost is the drum tower. The tower houses drums (duh) used in keeping time at night. Starting at 7 o'clock the drums would be beaten every two hours all through the night until 7 o'clock the next morning. During the day the bell tower had the same function. Time was kept using three trays with water using the same principal as an hourglass.
The drum tower was built in the early 1400s and is built in stone and wood. Originally the two towers were similar, but a fire destroyed the first bell tower in the 1700s. When entering you have to climb up a dark, straight, stone staircase. At the top there are several drums on display, including a drum destroyed by 8 European powers in 1900 (silencing the boxer rebellion)
The bell tower burned down in the 18th century, and was rebuilt in stone. There is a myth saying that the bell makers daughter fell into the molten iron. The father only managed to get hold of her shoe, but it was to late for the girl. The Chinese say that the soft chime from the bell resembles the word shoe.
The bell tower and its sister the drum tower were the timekeepers in ancient Beijing. Every two hours during the day the bells were struck so that the people could hear what time it was.
Haggling in the markets can be fun for some but not for me. In the photo I hold in my hand a sweat shirt I said was too expensive, so I walked away and watched the performance at the drum tower. As I was leaving I was told a lower price, so I bought it. Then went to the bell tower and tried on the hat which I wanted but knew I didn't have room for it in my luggage.
Note to self : Bring less cloths, bring home more treats!
This was supost to see picks and tips about Bei Hai Park but i missed the target,so i changed the program for the day
I took a taxi from my hotel to Bei Hai park,the taxi driver left me in front of place i dont remember the name and make me signal to go to right,but when i start to walk i was literally "engulfed" be many chinese with map carts...rickshaw,rickshaw..huttongs,i don't remember how many times i said no.
i kept wallking i crossed the huttongs place,and went strait to Drum Tower
I bought the ticket that was 20 yuans , and steped to overlook around drum tower and i saw behai park the place i missed,then it was time for the drums show, after that i took a taxi to Lama Temple and paid 13 yuan's.
In Beijing, there are two structures known as the bell tower and drum tower. They both lie on the north-south meridian that bisects the Forbidden City and Tian'an men square. The bell tower was used to mark the beginning of each day, while the drum tower was used to mark the end. Today, there is a tea shop located within the drum tower. Here, you are welcome to tea tasting ceremony. I was never really knowledgable on tea. Here in China, Chinese people drink tea everyday, like Americans would drink coffee. Different teas are used for different purposes. Here you will learn the different kinds and remedies.
After my lunch in the restaurant near the Lama Temple, I wanted to visit the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower.
A few months ago, I had seen both towers in a TV show named Peking Express, this was a kind of competition were several couples had to hitchhike from Moscow to Peking, quiet an adventure . . .
To go towards both towers I decided to call for a taxi. That was not so difficult; I showed my destination on my Beijing map to the driver, so he could read the Chinese name of my desired destination.
After a short ride we (the driver and I) arrived near the Drum Tower. The price for the taxi ride was 10 Yuan.
In the lower part of the Drum tower there was a kind of museum. In that museum you could see some pictures of the restoration of the Drum Tower.
The eye catcher of this drum tower is of course the big collection of drums.
So if you want to see these drums, you need to climb the steep steps.
But this effort will surely be rewarded with a splendid view on the Bell tower and on the Hutongs.
After a though climb towards the upper floor of the Drum Tower, you finally arrive in a big hall which is filled with lots of drums, from big till very big.
Also this room was very red, which gave a warm feeling, or was climbing the steps the reason . . . .
Already in 1272 there was built a tower on this location, but this Drum Tower dates from 1420.