Drum Tower

About 500 meters northwest of the Bell Tower stands the Drum Tower which locates on the West Street. It was built in Ming Dynasty (1380A.D.) and was repaired twice in Qing Dynasty. There used to be a big drum on the tower which was stricken very evening for about ten minutes before the city gates were closed, hence the name. The bell in the Bell Tower and the drum in the Drum Tower have been referred to as "the Morning Bell" and "the Dusk Drum". Later, the drum was no longer used to tell time but only to give warnings in times of war.

The rectangular base was also built with blue bricks. It is 52.6 meters in length and 38meters in width. On the base, the upper wooden stories are 33meters in height with glazed tile roofs. There are corridors around the tower on each tier. The outer eaves are decorated with networks of wood arches. The elegance and grandeur of its structure reveals much of the superb workmanship of the Chinese people.

In 1996, the city government decided to reproduce the big drum in the Drum Tower. The new drum is 1.8 meters in height and 2.83 meters in diameter with 1.5 tons in weight. And it is made of a whole high quality ox hide. There are 1996 big nails on the drum which means it is made in 1996. Together with 4 copper hoops, it symbols that China will march into the 21st century.

Today, if you climb the tower by way of its wooden stairs, you will have an extensive view of the city. If you are lucky to get on it on a fine day, you might see as far as Zhongnan Mountain on the southern outskirts of the city.


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