Drum Tower is located in the heart of Xi'an City, about 500 meters northwest of the Bell Tower. It was built in 1380. There used to be a huge drum in the tower which told the time at dusk; hence, its name the Drum Tower. The bell in the Bell Tower and the drum in the Drum Tower have been referred to as "the Morning Bell" and "the Dusk Drum." Later, the drum was no longer used to tell time but only to give warnings in times of war.
The base of the Drum Tower is 1,924 square meters in size, and 34 meters in height. It was also built with blue bricks. The building takes a rectangular shape and show tiers of eaves. It has only two stories inside. There are corridors around the tower on each tier. The outer eaves are decorated with networks of wood arches. On the Drum Tower's first floor, lies a hall which hangs many large drums, each of which was decorated with intrinsic and beautiful Chinese writing. On the second floor there is a drum museum, where a variety of drums are on display. In 1996, a new drum, covered by a whole piece of cowhide was given a place on the Drum Tower; it is the biggest drum in China at present.
In ancient times, especially from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), the drums were used to signal the running of time and on occasion were used as an alarm in emergency situations. Nowadays the Drum Tower stands towering above the city center and offers incredible view of Xi'an. Musical performances which will enlighten one on the power of ancient Chinese culture are provided on the Drum Tower.
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