The Bell-Tower in Beijing

Bell towers and drum-towers were important common buildings in a city, there were some bells or drums in them, these gave the correct time or gave an alarm to government officials and common people, etc. Excepting lot capital city, all states and counties were with them. The bell tower or drum-tower were all on the thoroughfare of a city, in the center of a city, or on a trading port, that make the sound spread much further. The building was extraordinarily high and majesty, which was a marked sign in the city, The size of the drum-tower and the bell-tower was different in different city, so was the size of the drum and the bell, the bell and the drum were put into one tower in some small town. So many drum-towers and bell-towers are kept, and a few of them are called huge. The bells and drums in the towers were magnificent and very beautiful, so many kept great bells could be called the curiosa of the cultural relic, but drums are not easily kept.

Bell-towers and drum-towers in Beijing were located the center of the capital city and the important position on the middle axes in Yuan, Ming, and Qing Dynasties; the majesty, the long history and tallness of the buildings were possessed of the most important positions on city planning of ancient Beijing.

The Bell-tower

The bell-tower was recorded by the book of Xijinzhi in Yuan Dynasty, which was the earliest literature for it. There were some records about it in Ming and Qing Dynasties, especially, the preservative book of the notes imperial rebuilding the bell tower for rebuilding bell tower recorded and narrated thorough the courses of rebuilding it in 10th to 12th year of Qianlong reign, Qing Dynasty.

The well-kept bell tower had been rebuilt from 10th year of Qianlong reign and finished in 12th year Qianlong reign (1747A.D.). The principal part of whole buildings is the structure of bricks and stones; and there is a tall hathpace by bricks and stones on the lowest part of it; the main body of it is constructed on the top of the hathpace, its whole tallness is 47.9 meters. Its housetop is with the style of twain brims, and ash pantiles, green cut border. One the east hatnpace, there is a stone 72-step ladder for going into the second floor; it occupies land about 6,000 square meters.