The Drum Tower located northwest of the Bell Tower of Xi'an, across the Bell and Drum Tower Square which offers excellent views between the two towers. Surrounded by vendors, shops, and restaurants, the square with trees for shade and many places to sit, the square is an excellent place to stroll, and becomes busy in the evening, offering great people-watching opportunities. The drums were used to signal the running of time and, on occasion, were used as an alarm in emergencies in ancient China, especially from the Yuan Dynasty.
Chinese Name: 西安鼓楼
Location: at the Southern of Xi'an West Main Street
Tel: +86 29-87274580
Opening Time: 08:30 - 20:30 1st Jan. - 31st Dec.
Transportation: bus No. 7, 15, 32, 205, 215, 221, 222, 251, 252, 612, 618, or Tourist Line 8 (No. 610) and get off at Bell Tower West Station where you can see the Drum Tower.
What to Visit in the Drum Tower
The Drum Tower houses many large drums, some antique furniture, and short musical performances featuring drums and other traditional instruments at various times. Upon arrival, you will notice there are 24 drums in the north and south sides of the tower with traditional Chinese characters written on it, which are 24 solar terms of Chinese lunar calendar and used to guide the agricultural production and symbolizes good fortune for the coming years. The arrays of those drums are only for you to appreciate and prohibited to touch. There is an huge drum standing erectly where many visitors are doing picture taking and trying to beat it with a reasonable fee in the front of the entrance,.
It is actually an exhibition hall now with various collections of ancient drums and drums of different nations inside the drum tower, as well as some treasurable Chinese paintings, and some of the exhibits are older than 1000 years.
Tourists can enjoy the fancy-dressed Tang dynasty show with drums beating performance after visiting the drum tower museum. It is always recommended to visit Xian Drum Tower with the Bell Tower since the convenient location.
Architecture & Structure of the Drum Tower
The Drum Tower was initially built in 1380 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was renovated twice in 1699 and 1740 in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It is a two-storied post and panel structure, 34 meters high and 52.6 meters long from east to west as well as 38 meters wide from north to south.
The architecture style of Drum Tower is a combination of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Qing Dynasty. However, it also has some innovative features. Visitors can go upstairs to the second floor and enjoy the views around the Drum Tower. On the second floor, there is a drum culture exhibition which can help you know more about drums. Meanwhile, you will notice that there are twenty-four drums in its north and south sides. They stand for the Twenty-four Solar Terms, a kind of weather calendar created by the Chinese ancients to guide the agricultural production.
Tips for Bell and Drum Tower Square Visiting
Please take car of personal belongs when walking on the Square.
The Square opens to public for free but if one wants to ascend the Bell Tower or Drum Tower, please buy entrance ticket accordingly.