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Drum Tower

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  • Full View of Xian Drum Tower
    Full View of Xian Drum Tower
  • Xian Drum Tower
    Xian Drum Tower
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 Kind Notice: The Drum Tower has been closed on November 5th, 2012 for maintenance, and will be reopened to public on February 6th, 2013.

Standing 500 meters (547 yards) to the northwest of the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower is another landmark of ancient Xian. It was originally established in 1380 during the early Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644). The top of the tower commands a panoramic view of the city. 

Xian Drum Tower is the largest one in existence in China. It is the most longstanding and best preserved compared with the similar architectures in China. The wood and brick structured architecture is rectangular in shape with the length of 52.6 meters (57.5 yards), the width of 38 meters (42 yards) and the height of 34 meters (112 feet). The base of the construction was piled up by blue bricks. The architectural style of the Drum Tower was not the exact copy of that in Tang (618 - 907) and Song (960 - 1279) Dynasties, some innovations were made when it was built. Not even an iron nail can be found in the tower. Brackets were used in the eaves and pedestals. The appearance takes on the scene of magnificence and grace. 

There used to be a huge drum in the tower, which was beaten at sunset and formed a contrast with the chime of the bell in the morning in the bell tower nearby. That is how its name derived. There lie many large drums on the first floor of the drum tower, and all of the drums were engraved with beautiful Chinese as the adornment in hopes of good luck. 

Ever since 1950, several renovations and maintenances have been made. The 'morning bell and evening drum' was restored to enhance the development of tourism. The huge drum was remade in 1996, which was 1.8 meters (5.9 feet) in height, 2.83 meters in diameter. The drumhead is made from the high quality cowskin. The belly of the drum is about 3.43 meters (3.75 yards) in diameter, 1.5 tons in weight. 1996 nails on the drum is the mark of the year when it was made. Together with 4 bronze rings, the number amounts to 2,000 representing the year of 2000. When the drum is beaten, the sound is so resonant that it can be heard several miles away. Amid the Bell Tower and Drum Tower is the big square decorated with nice flowers and acoustic-optic fountains, which offers a good recreational venue for the locals. 

There is a legend related to the tablet of 'Sheng Wen Yu Tian' in the Drum Tower: When the construction of the tower finished, Empress Wu Zetian was invited to give the inscription, however, she forgot adding the dot in the character of 'Yu'. One day she noticed the slip when she passed by the tower and then she asked the escorts how it happened. The escorts looked at each other, but dare not to tell the truth. Finally she asked for the pen, ink as well as the bow and arrow. She did the shooting so perfectly that the dot was added rightly. When it was renovated during Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), the inscription was corrected with simplified characters. 

Visitors also have the chance to see varieties of drums displayed in the museum inside the tower, some of them have had a history of 1,000 years. Enlightened by the neon light, the night view of the drum tower is even more beautiful. 

 Entrance Fee: CNY 27 for Drum Tower
CNY 40 for the joint ticket of Bell Tower and Drum Tower

 Opening Hours: 
08:00 - 22:00 (Apr. 1 to Oct. 31)
08:00 - 17:30 (Nov. 1 to Mar. 31) 

 Bus Routes: Take Bus No. 4, 7,15, 32, 43, 45, 201, 205, 206, 215, 218, 221, 222, 251, 300, 604, 611, 612, K630 or Tourist Bus No. 8 (610) and get off at Drum Tower stop.

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