Beijing Drum Tower
Construction of Beijing's Drum Tower began during the 9th year of Emperor Zhiyuan of the Yuan Dynasty (1272 AD). The tower was originally called "Qizheng Tower", which means "coming from" the seven ancient celestial bodies of gold, wood, water, fire, the earth, sun and moon. However, shortly after construction was completed, it was destroyed by fire. Then, in the first year of Dade, under the reign of Emperor Chengzong (1297 AD) of the Yuan Dynasty, the tower was re-built. The tower äs it exists today is located at the north end of the south-north central axis of the old capital Beijing, it was the result of a rebuilding effort in the 18th yearof Yongle during the Ming Dynasty (1420 AD).
The Drum Tower is 46.7 meters in height, with triple eaves and a hip and gable roof. It has a primarily wooden structure covered with round grey tiles and green glazed trim at the top. There used to be 25 watchman's drums (1 main drum representing one whole year and 24 mass drums representing the twenty-four Solar Terms) on the second floor of the Drum Tower, there is only one remaining now.
The Bell and Drum Towers together made up the time-announcing center of the capital during the Yuan, Ming and Ging dynasties. In the 13th year of the Republic of China (1924), the time-announcing function was finally put to rest. In 1957, the Beijing People's Committee announced that the Drum Tower would become a protected site at municipal level, and in 1996, the Drum Tower was brought under national protection by the State Council of the People's Republic of China.