Drum & Bell Towers

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We started our last day at the Drum and Bell Towers. Both towers were built in the 1200’s and replaced several times over the centuries. Each tower can be climbed for great views of the city, and the other tower.

We arrived early to find a queue already formed before the drum tower opened. After purchasing our tickets, we found plenty of local entertainment.

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Drums and bells once were the timekeepers in Beijing. Originally built in 1272, the Drum Tower has been replaced several times. Once the tower opened, we climbed steep stairs to a bird’s eye view of the hutong rooftops in the neighborhood.

Several exhibits told some of the history of the area, and explained the traditional seasons. Drummers soon made their appearance, dressed in more traditional clothing.

Like the Drum Tower, the Bell Tower was built in 1272, and replaced several times. The current structure was built in 1745. Both towers kept time until 1924. The bronze bell housed in the tower is struck with enormous carved fish. Beautiful carvings surrounding the balcony railings tell the local legend of the bell.

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