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Bell Tower   

Bell Tower has become the symbol of Xi'an ever since the date it was build in 1384 during the early Ming Dynasty. In early morning of ancient times it had the mission of ringing the bell day-after-days and giving the correct time to the whole city. Now the bell tower is the largest and best-preserved of its kind in China.

One legend says that the Bell Tower was originally built to restrain the dragon that caused an earthquake in the Ming dynasty. Actually it was built in 1384 by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang as a way to dominate the surrounding countryside and provide early warning of attack by rival rulers.

The tower is a brick and timber structure which is 36 meters high and 35.5 meters wide with its base occupying an area of 1,377 square meters. There are three layers of eaves on the external exquisite carved beams and internal is up and down layers. The engraved arcs under each eaves are dramatic masterpieces in ancient timber constructions. Appeared in the construction of Shang Dynasty, the arc is unique in the history of world construction. It not only make the tower more beautiful, but also make the construction firm and reduce the impact of rain on the building.

Before the Bell Tower moved, there was a copper bell in the tower named "Jingyun Bell", which is now preserved in the Forest of Stone Steles Museum. The big iron Jinglong Bell made in Ming Dynasty has stood in the Bell Tower for more than 400 years. It weighs 2,500 kilograms.

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