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Bell Tower

Beijing Attractions: Bell Tower

Bell Tower 钟楼

Bell Tower, Beijing, China.
  • 48m tall Bell Tower
  • Was originally built in the 13th century
  • Present building dates from the 18th century
  • Huge 42-ton Ming Dynasty bell
  • Pleasant, lively area at night
  • Marked the time in ancient Beijing
  • Close to the Drum Tower & Beihai Park

The 48m brick and stone Bell Tower in Beijing stands just to the north of the Drum Tower and was built around the same time, although the present structure dates from the 18th century.

The huge, 42 ton, bronze bell at the top of the tower is 10cm thick, over 500 years old and was rung to mark the time. Legend has it that the bell-maker's daughter threw herself into the molten metal to ensure a successful casting after a number of previous failings.

It is thought that the bell was rung to mark the time during the night in Beijing to avoid waking the capital's citizens while the drum was used to wake people up at 5am - the designated time to rise, though the evidence is contrasting and the drum may also have been beaten at night as well.

Beijing Bell Tower, Beijing, China.

Beijing's Bell Tower dates from the 18th century

There are good views from the top of the Bell Tower of the Drum Tower and over the neighborhood hutong rooftops and on a clear day the skyscrapers of downtown Beijing are also clearly visible.

Snow-covered Hutongs near Bell Tower, Beijing. Bell Tower, Beijing.

Snow-covered hutong dwellings near the Bell Tower, Beijing

The square between the Drum and Bell Towers - Zhonggulou - is a pleasant, neighborhood plaza in the evening when the tourists have departed.

There are bell and drum towers in other Chinese cities, most notably the Bell Tower and Drum Tower in Xian.

Bell Tower Access

The Bell Tower (Zhonglou)
Tel: 6401 2674
The nearest Subway station is Gulou on the Circle Line.

Bell Tower Map

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