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Bell Tower

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Bell Tower, Xian attraction

Brief Introdution
Bell Tower is one of highlights in Xi'an, was built in 1384 by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as a way to dominate the surrounding countryside and provide early warning of attack by rival ruler. It is a stately traditional building, that marks the geographical center of the ancient capital. From this important landmark extend East, South, West and North Streets, connecting the Tower to the East, South, West and North Gates of the City Wall of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

The bell was sounded at dawn and the drum at dusk each day in ancient time, a means of telling time. Xian was not exception. The two are located in the center of the Xian city connecting the four roads from east, south, west and north within the city wall. Atop the Bell Tower you will have a panoramic view of the Xian City.

Architecture & Structure
The Bell Tower, which is the largest and best-preserved of its kind in China, is 36 meters (118 feet) high. It stands on a brick base 35.5 meters (116.4 feet) long and 8.6 meters (28.2 feet) high on each side. During the Ming Dynasty, Xi'an was an important military town in Northwest China, a fact that is reflected in the size and historic significance of its tower.

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The Bell Tower has three layers of eaves but only two stories. Inside, a staircase spirals up. The grey bricks of the square base, the dark green glazed tiles on the eaves, gold-plating on the roof and gilded color painting make the tower a colorful and dramatic masterpiece of Ming-style architecture. In addition to enhancing the beauty of the building, the three layers of eaves reduce the impact of rain on the building.

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Originally, the northwest corner of the tower housed the famous Jingyun Bell from the Tang Dynasty. Legend has it that although nothing had changed in the tower, the Jingyun Bell fell silent during the Ming Dynasty, so the current bell, a much smaller one weighing only 5 tons, was cast. The original Jingyun Bell can now be seen in Forest of Stone Steles Museum. The engravings on the doors of the Tower reflect the decorative fashion of Ming and Qing Dynasties, recounting popular stories of ancient China.

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A fenced-in area around the tower is planted with grass and flowers. In early spring, the tender plum blossoms and bright new grass surrounding the old tower provide a harmonious contrast. 

Legends Stories
In Ming Dynasty, several earthquakes struck Guanzhong area, thousands were dead and injured. Then a legend appeared: There was a great river flowing across the center of Xi'an City. A dragon in the river was always active and caused trouble, so an earthquake occurred. An official of Xi'an government believed these words, so he ordered the blacksmiths of the whole city to make a several thousand feet of long iron chain in order to lock the dragon and sink it to river. He then ordered 5,000 craftsmen to repair the Bell Tower day and night in order to use the tower to restrain the dragon. He believed this would suppress the dragon firmly under the river and so it would no longer be active and cause trouble again. After establishing the Bell Tower, earthquakes never occurred in Xi'an again.

Information
Admission Fee:
                    CNY 27 for the Bell Tower only and CNY 27 for the Drum Tower only;
                    CNY 40 for the joint ticket of Bell Tower and Drum Tower
Opening Hours: 8:00 - 22:00 (Apr. 1 - Oct. 31);
                        8:00 - 17:30 (Nov. 1 - the next Mar. 31)
Recommended Time for a Visit: One hour

How to get to Bell Tower
You can take bus 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 15, 16, 26, 29, 32, 35, 36, 37, 43, 45, 46, 118, 201, 203, 205, 206, 208, 214, 215, 216, 218, 221, 222, 229, 235, 239, 251, 252, 300, 302, 502, 600, K600, 603, 604, K605, 606, 608, 609, 611, 612, K618, K630, 706, Tourist Bus Line 7, Tourist Bus Line 8 (610), Airport Shuttle Bus No.1...and get off at Bell Tower Stop.

Tour Bell Tower with Xian Priavte Tour
All the following tours are recommended by 98% of our clients. They are private tours with an English-seapking local guide, a private vehicle and experienced local driver. Usually the tour service starts from Xian hotel/Xian train station/Xian aiport and finishes at the moment you say goodbye to your guide at the Xian hotel/Xian train station/Xian airport.

Xian Day Tour Package: Private Fully Guide Xian Highlights TourXian Day Tour Package: Private Fully Guide Xian Highlights Tour 2 Days Private Xian Travel Package with Tang Dynasty Night Show2 Days Private Xian Travel Package with Tang Dynasty Night Show 3 Days Beijing Xian Culture & Culinary Tour From Beijing by Bullet Train3 Days Beijing Xian Culture & Culinary Tour From Beijing by Bullet Train 6 Days Beijing Xian Tour Package From Shanghai by Bullet Train6 Days Beijing Xian Tour Package From Shanghai by Bullet Train

If the above tours are not on your list, creat your own Xian tour including Bell Tower following our suggestions. Based in Xi'an and focused on Xi'an, we are a local team to show you the historic Xi'an, we can customize private tours, tour itinerary and tour packages to cater to the needs of individual tourists as well as small group tours including families, friends and business colleagues. Please refer to Xian tours for more Xian tour packages or send us your inquiry by email.

Mosted Asked Questions about Bell Tower

1. Is there any good place to eat nearby the Xian Bell Tower?

If you are looking for the dining place near the Bell Tower, you can go to find some Xian local snack at Muslim Quarter. As a matter of fact, what makes this Muslim Street a food street is unending lines of various restaurants and food stalls, some of which specialize in selling cakes, others in dried fruit or breads, and hordes of stalls selling barbequed meats on skewers.

2. How to travel to Xian Bell Tower from Xian International Airport?

Xian Xianyang is located about 40KM away from Xian downtown. It takes 1-1.5 hours from airport to downtown, you can take airport shuttle bus to the Bell Tower Hotel directly, the bus scheduled from 07:00 - 21:40 and cost about CNY25 per person. If you are confused about the public transportation, you can take taxi or book a private transfer with a Xian local tour company.

3. What are the popular attractions near the bell tower?

Xian Bell Tower is located in the city center of Xian and there are many historical attractions nearby the bell tower, such as Drum Tower- It is located northwest of the Bell Tower of Xi'an, across the Bell and Drum Tower Square. Both of them are called the 'sister buildings' or 'morning bell and dark drum'; Muslim Quarter-Behind the Drum Tower is the famous Muslim quarter, it is a fascinating area where you can find exotic food, interesting people and great souvenir stalls. You can taste many authentic Islamic snacks; Xian Ancient City Wall- It is China’s best-preserved, and largest existing ancient city wall. Originally serving as a military defensive system in ancient times, the city wall today is considered a landmark dividing the city of Xi’an into the inner part and the outer part.


4. I heard about there are some performances at Bell Tower, could you advise the time schedule for us?

Yes, there are 6 peformance everyday at Xian Bell Tower, the schedule for the performance are at 9:00,10:30,11:30,15:00,16:00,17:00, performing for 10-15 minutes once. Please kindly note that the performances have fixed time daily, organizations can make reservations in advance to enjoy the show, plus time for the evening performances is 19:00-22:00.
 

5. I need to catch my flight at 12:00pm, do i still have time to visit the Xian Bell Tower in the morning?

Yes, you will have enough time to visit the Xian bell tower before you head to the airport if you stay in the Xian city center. Normally, it takes around half an hour to visit this place and 1.5 hours to airport from here by shuttle bus, 50 mins by taxi or private transfer. You can get up early, go sightseeing the bell tower when it opened for the tourists.


6. How much does it cost to visit the Xian Bell Tower? Will be expensive?

Actually, it is not too expensive. The entrance fee for visiting the Bell tower is CNY35 per person, but there is a combo ticket for bell tower and drum tower which costs CNY50 per person if you are planning to visit both place.

7. Can you arrange a English speaking tour guide to show me around the Xian Bell Tower Area?

Yes, we are one of the local Xian tour companies that provides the Xian English speaking tour guide service. You can book our Xian tour guide service to have your own professional english or some other language speaking guide to show you around the Xian bell tower and the other attractions in Xian city. Half day or full day tour guide/ interpreter service are available.

8. We will take high speed train from Beijing to Xian, arrive at 17:00pm on 15th, April, can we visit the Xian bell tower during the night?

It is possible to do a Xian night tour to visit the Bell Tower, the opening hours during the peak season is from 8:30am to 21:30pm. You will have plenty time to visit the bell tower and surounding attractions, such as Xian ancient city, Muslim Quarter and more. Xian Bell Tower is one of the good spots to enjoy the night view of Xian city.

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