Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Drum and Bell Towers

On our last morning in Xi'an (we were only there for I think one full day, but we did a lot in that one day) we went to see the drum and bell towers in the center of the old section of the city. We went up inside the bell tower (more stairs), which is over 600 years old. Due to the rain we didn't go into the drum tower, but Tracy told us they're pretty similar anyway so we didn't feel cheated.

The building with the red walls and green roof is the bell tower; the building behind it and to the right is a big shopping mall. Tracy tried to explain to us how the mall was built to have "good feng shui" but I don't think any of us really understood all the rules ;)

Another view of the bell tower...we had to walk a block or two from where our driver dropped us off to get there.

The tower has carved panels depicting scenes from Chinese history and legends. This one is Mulan joining the army (funny, I don't see Mushu from the Disney movie anywhere on there...)

And now you know why the call it the bell tower ;) In ancient times, the drums would be beaten every evening at 5:00, signifying that the city gates were closing for the night, and then the bells would toll at 9:00 the next morning when the gates reopened.

Pieces of the roof tiles...I don't think these were just from the drum and bell towers, I think they were from several structures in Xi'an. There was a small exhibit of this kind of stuff in the bell tower.

The roof guardians on the roof of the bell tower.

And here's the view of Xi'an from one side of the tower, but I forget which direction we were facing. The city is laid out to have more good feng shui so you can kind of tell which section of the city you're in by what types of businesses there are--one direction has all the lawyers, for instance. Unfortunately I didn't write it all down when Tracy told us.

There's the drum tower as seen from the bell tower in the rain.

And here's the feng shui-ed shopping mall. Something about having the round features...ehh, I don't know.

And here's the Starbucks we visited on our way to the tower :)


CCsMom said...

Ah, another super day in China. Enjoying my sightseeing trip!

Giffysk8s said...

That is totally the coolest Starbucks ever!!!!

The drum towers are pretty. I like the architecture. ANd that wood carving is so pretty! But I agree~I like the Disney version better.