Beijing Drum Tower
Standing proudly to the north of the Jingshan Park, the Drum and Bell Towers are impressive, historically significant structures of Imperial Beijing. The wooden, two-storey Drum Tower, with its ornate decoration and green-glazed tiles is the more striking of the two. The Drum Tower was first built in 1272 during the reign of Kublai Khan. Destroyed twice by fire, the present structure was built in 1420 in the reign of Ming Dynasty Emperor Yongle. Today it stands as one of the oldest buildings in Beijing. Along with the Bell Tower, the primary purpose of the building was to tell the time (see the Bell Tower for more information). The Drum and Bell Towers comprise the northern point of a north-south axis along which Beijing’s most famous sights are aligned. Directly south from here lies the Forbidden City and further south is the Temple of Heaven. Standing at 46.7 meters in height, ascent to the second level of the Drum Tower is via a very steep staircase of dangerously smooth stone. But it’s worth the effort to go up. Upstairs are a collection of drums where rhythms are regularly pounded out. The only drum that survives from the Imperial era is also on display here. The second floor of the Drum Tower also offers some lovely panoramic views of Beijing.
Admission: ¥20. Open: 9am-4:30pm.
Tel: +86 (010) 8403 6706.
Directions: The Drum Tower is about 15 minutes walk directly south along Jiugulou Dajie from Gulou subway station. Turn left at the southern end of Jiugulou Dajie and you will see it.
Show the taxi driver: 请带我去鼓楼，谢谢。 (Please take me to the Drum Tower. Thank you.)