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Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Beijing - the Drum and Bell Towers

The Bell Tower, as seen from the Drum Tower.

I had been past the Drum and Bell Towers on previous visits to Beijing, but had never been in either of them. My daughter lives about 10 minutes away from these towers and knew there was a display of drum playing during the day, so we timed it to see one of the displays.

We had about 30 minutes before the drum display so we decided to go up the Bell Tower first. This building is 33 metres high, built in 1747. On entering the building we found we were facing a steep, uneven stone staircase going straight up to the Bell Pavilion room. It was worth the climb though, to see the amazing bell.

This amazing bronze bell has hung here for over 500 years. It was originally struck throughout the night to measure the hours.

This explains the use of the bell to mark out the
 hours of night time

This photo shows the very large log used to strike the bell.

The legend of the bell casting.

A couple of views from the Bell Tower, interesting to see the sky scrapers in the distance.

Looking across the square from the Bell Tower towards the Drum Tower.

We made our way out of the Bell Tower and across the square to the Drum Tower, again access to the drum room in the tower was up a very steep, uneven staircase! This building is built of wood unlike the Bell Tower and is 47 metres high, this building replaced an earlier one and was built in 1420.

One of the views from the Drum Tower.

Some interesting exhibits in the Drum Tower, the photo is not good, but I loved the Dragon Incense Holder in the photo above :)

One of the water clocks, water was poured into the top container, which made its way down to the containers below, as a way of marking a unit of time.

Originally there were 24 drums in the Tower, only one now remains, as you can see it is in a very fragile state.

The drum room, there are now only seven drums, set at the back of the room 

My daughter peeping out from behind one of the pillars!

We had an amazing view of the people playing the drums, two to the left....

two to the right.....

....and the lady beating the centre drum. It was amazing to hear these drums being beaten, the drummers were awesome, and for some reason I found the display very emotional. It was well worth being there at the right time :)

Finally another photo taken from the Drum Tower, in the centre distance there is a Pagoda on top of a hill. The pagoda is in Jingshan Park, which is directly to the north of The Forbidden City, guess where we went next? More in the next blog :)

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