|Address: No 110 Beilin District South Avenue
Xian City Shaanxi Province
|Xian Bell Tower which was built within the reign of first emperor of Ming Dynasty, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang in year 1384 as a way to dominate the surrounding countryside and provide early warning of attack by rival rulers, is located right in the city center of Xian. It used to be a landmark for the geographical center of the ancient capital of Xian. Besides that, the tower at 36 meters high is also the largest as well as the best preserved of its kind throughout the nation.
No matter to evaluate from the angle of either architecture scale, historical value or artistic value, the Xian Bell Tower will for sure raking at the top of the list. The Bell Tower was constructed on top of square bricks and wooden structure. Although the tower was designed with three eaves on exterior view, it is in fact a double-storey building anyway. The dark green glazed tiles on the eaves, golden-plating on the roof and gilded color painting had made the tower to be a colorful and majestic masterpiece of Ming architecture.
According to the historical records, the Bell Tower was not located at where it was nowadays as it had gone through a relocation project in year 1582. When it was primarily built in year 1384, it was situated not far form the Drum Tower. During that time, it was similarly marked the city center of Tang Dynasty, the following five dynasties as well as Song and Yuan Dynasties. However, when the city kept growing and later the geographical center of the city had changed. Therefore, the emperor had decided to relocate the tower to 1000 meters to the east of its original site. It was really a wonderful relocation as all the parts are original and it took only very short of time to complete the whole project. In fact, the relocation was really a huge project which required top skills of reconstruction and mathematical calculations. Anyway, this huge project was accomplished in ancient China in 16th century has become a notable achievement in the architectural history of China.
The present bell which is hanging within the Bell Tower at five tons weight was built in Ming Dynasty. Anyway, the size of the bell is much smaller than the original bronze bell, Jingyun Bell which was made in Tang Dynasty. According to the records, even though there is nothing changed on the size and style of the tower, the original Jingyun Bell had no sound come out no matter how it was knocked. With no alternative, a new bell was made to replace the original one and the real Jingyun Bell is now displayed in Beilin Museum (Forest of Stone Steles Museum).