Drum Tower is a popular tower located in Beijing in the north of Dianmen Street. The tower was originally built for musical reasons, but was later used to announce the time and is now a tourist attraction.
The Drum and the Bell tower have panoramic views over central Beijing and before the modern era, they both dominated the ancient skyline of Beijing. The Drum tower has been central to official timekeeping in China in the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The tower used to be the official time keeper of the city of Beijing with drums and bells being beaten and rung to mark the times of the day.
One can also climb the steep inner staircase of the tower to have some great views of grey tiled rooftops and other structures in the surrounding alleys. There are regular drumming performances and the tower has been a common feature of Chinese cities and temples.
The upper story of the Drum Tower serves as the People’s Cultural Hall of the East City District and has great cultural significance. On display are large drums like the Night Watchman’s Drum among the original twenty five drums and also a replica of a Song dynasty waterclock.