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The city of Xi’an, the thousands-old capital of the Chinese civilization’s first Yellow River settlement, is one removed from the hurried pace of most of its younger siblings such as Beijing and Shanghai. It is less a rejuvenated metropolis eager to embrace the future and more a dignified citadel wistfully dreaming of its youth. In this regard, few Xi’an relics are as evocative of the life and times of the city ancients as the Drum Tower and Bell Tower.
It is almost impossible to speak of one without the other, for these sister buildings share a duality of function; in days when the common folk of the city had no way of telling time, the Bell Tower would toll the dawning the of the day and the Drum Tower would hark the sunset and ending of the day’s work. The Drum Tower would also be used to warn citizens of imminent danger or emergency.
This 112 foot construct of the Ming Dynasty was actually a futuristic architectural achievement for its time – nowhere within its post and panel structure can be found a single iron nail! Twenty-four drums lining its north and south sides signify the 24 solar terms according to ancient Chinese almanac while a collection of antique drums are displayed in its first floor, each inscribed to bring good fortune. Today, the main function of the tower is as a viewing platform affording magnificent lay of the land as well as being the venue of a daily percussion performance.
Citadines Central Xi’an is one of the most luxurious and centrally located furnished apartments Xi’an has to offer, and affords the added convenience of being only walking distance from the Bell and Drum Towers, as well as the other major historic attractions of the city.