This is the Bell Tower. Under the Qing Dynasty, bells in this tower were rung each
morning to signal that the gates in the city wall could be opened for the day. The photo
was taken from the Drum Tower, in which drums were beaten every evening to indicate that
the gates were to be closed for the night. The view in this photo is southward; the
Imperial Palace and Tiananmen Square are beyond the Bell Tower.
The construction of modern high-rise buildings is discouraged in the center of
Beijing. Looking out from the Drum Tower, therefore, what one sees nearby is mostly the roofs
of the low buildings of traditional Beijing, and trees. Only in the distance are the
high-rises of modern Beijing visible. This is most dramatic looking north:
But it is also visible in other directions:
Copyright © 2002, Edwin E. Moïse. Revised August 4, 2002.