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Xi'an Bell Tower
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Visiting Xi'an Bell Tower

4.5 (100%) 393 votes

The bell tower is the largest and the most preserved of its kind of structure in China. The classical building holds a history of over 600 years and, over the years it has become the symbol of Xi'an. The traditional tower houses a huge bell called the Jinyung bell, cast in Tang dynasty that was originally used to strike time every morning in ancient times. That's how the tower got its name.

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Glorious history of the city center of Xi'an: The Bell Tower

Glorious history of the city center of Xi'an: The Bell Tower

Description of Bell Tower

Description of Bell Tower

The monument is brick and timber structure 36 meters or 118 feet high. The tower stands on a brick base foundation. The tower base is square and, it covers an area of 1,377 m2 (14,820 square feet). The tower was built by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in 1384 to show his dominance in the neighboring countryside. The grey colored bricks, the glazing dark green tiles, and ornated color painting make the tower a vibrant and attractive masterpiece of typical Ming-style architecture. Along with enhancing the look of the building, the three layers of eaves decrease the effect of rain on the tower.

Architectural Features

Architectural Features

Blue brick was used to make the Xi'an Bell Tower's surface. It is a two-story wooden structure but, we will see three storied dark green eaves from the exterior. Inside, the stairs spiral up. A “golden top” of platinum wrapped in the inner heart of the wood embellishes the monument. And the gold paintings grace the interior. The carvings on the structure represent the decorative arts styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, portraying popular tales of ancient China. Eight reliefs adorn each doorway leaf, and each relief holds an ancient allusion. When the day goes by, lanterns hung light up the tower, making it even more captivating. The eaves are held up by colored dugong, a traditional constructional system in which crossbeams and columns join the brackets. The utilization of dugong makes the whole structure firm and alluring.

Cultural Relics

Cultural Relics

The original clock of Xi'an bell tower was the 'JingYun' bell cast by the Jingyun's year in the Tang Dynasty. The Jinglong temple in the city of Chang'an initially used the bell. The bell moved to the tower in the early Ming Dynasty. The valuable bell is now kept and exhibited at the Xi'an Stone Steles Museum, and at the northwest corner of the structure, a replication of the bell is hanging since 1997. The ornamentation and engraving of the replaced clock resemble the original clock, and the quality of sound is majestic. The inscriptions are studed on the west wall of the first-floor hall of Xi'an Bell Tower. The first inscription was after the Xi'an Municipal Government of People renovated the Xi'an clock tower in 1953. The second inscription is the Governor of Shaanxi Zhang Yishu after the Qing Emperor Qianlong's five-year major overhaul.

Xi'an Bell Tower Tips and Tricks

How to Get Tickets?

Xi'an Bell Tower tickets are available at the underground Bell Tower subway tunnel. You can buy tickets for viewing the Bell Tower only. Also, you may buy a combo ticket for viewing the drum tower along with the bell tower which is adjacent to it.

How To Get Around?

You can reach Xi'an Bell Tower by bus and metro. The nearest metro station is Bell Tower Station which is accessible by subway line 2. The bus stop is 100 meters away from the metro station where bus 611 and 603 will drop you at the northeast corner of the bell tower and the southwest corner of the bell tower respectively. Apart from the subway, there are buses to the Bell Tower from almost every part of the Xi'an city.

What Should I Wear?

You can wear whatever suits you the best but dress according to the weather. The summers of Xi'an, i.e., May to August are scorching and humid. Also, it is the rainy season for China. Quick dry clothes and thinner fabrics are appropriate for the hot weather. A casual skirt or shorts with a top can be a good option. Also, carry some hats and scarfs to protect your skin and hair from the sun and humidity. Also carry some lightweight rain jackets and an umbrella, in case it rains as the weather suggests. Winters on the other hand in Xi'an are freezing. During November to January, the temperature falls to 3-5 degrees. You can carry winter clothes along with gloves and winter caps.

Xi'an Bell Tower Facts

Best Time to Visit

Climate of Xi'an is usually extreme, either too cold or too hot. But during spring the city is usually warm and pleasant, and March to May is the best time of a year to pay a visit to the Tower.



Will I Need a Guide?

You may hire a guide to dwell more into the folk tales and history of the monument. However, this website gives you all the necessary information to explore the place on your own too.

How To Get There?

Xi'an can be reached through flight, train, bus or taxi. The Xi'an airport connects the city with most of the major domestic and international airports. Xi'an can also be reached from most of the major cities China through trains and buses. Xi'an Airport is 40 km away from the city center of Xi'an.

Additional Info

Behave nicely with the locals. Be aware of your belongings.

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