Bell Tower of Xi’an in Xi’an, China

The epicenter of the walled-in city is the Bell Tower of Xi’an. The two-level, wooden observation structure was originally built in 1384 based on the orders of Hongwu Emperor, the founder of the Ming dynasty. The tower is 118 feet tall and is positioned on a 116 foot high brick platform. This elevation gave sentries a commanding view of Chang’an (the name of the capital city) plus the land outside of the walls. In 1582, the Xi’an Bell Tower was moved 3,280 feet to its current position. Since then, the iconic building has been rebuilt and refurbished several times. On the far left is a 6.5 ton bell. It was rung each morning to announce the start of each business day and at other scheduled times. Above the bell are three levels of green glazed tiles. On top is a decorative knob covered with gold platinum. Access to the historic site is through a pedestrian subway.

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Bell Tower, Zhonglou Shangquan, Beilin, Xi'an, China

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