Bell Tower

With height of 36 meters, the Bell Tower is an ideal place for you to have a panoramic view of the ancient capital Xi'an. As an important landmark at the geographical center of Xi'an that connects the four main roads from east, south, west and north, the 1,377 square meters large wooden Bell Tower to the west of the Drum Tower is the largest and best-preserved bell tower in China.

The tower was built in 1384 by Zhu Yuanzhang the forefather of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Legend has it that a dragon in a river flowing across Xi'an City was always active and induced an earthquake. To suppress the dragon firmly under the river, the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang then decided to build the Bell Tower. No earthquakes occurred in Xi'an again since the establishment the Bell Tower.

Initially the Bell Tower stood 1,000 meters to the west. As the city grew, however, the central axis of the city changed. Therefore, in 1582, the Tower was relocated eastwards to the current position. Such a massive removal is truly an outstanding achievement in the architectural history in China.

The Bell Tower originally laid a large bronze-cast Jingyun Bell from the Tang Dynasty that was struck at dawn to mark the morning. The Jingyun Bell is now preserved in Forest of Stone Steles Museum.

The two-story tower is a dramatic masterpiece of Ming-style architecture that with dark green glazed tiles on the eaves, gold-plating on the roof and gilded color painting on walls. The engravings on the doors and windows reflect the decorative fashion of Ming Dynasty, depicting interesting stories and anecdotes of ancient China. Traditional Chinese paintings of Qi Baishi are also of great value of appreciation.

Today, Bell Tower can only be accessed from the underpass on the north side where visitors have to purchase tickets. Musical performances are held inside for several times a day.