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The Drum and Bell Towers

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Bell Tower

Facing each other, these two ancient buildings were the official time-keepers in imperial China since the Yuan dynasty. Their current location, on the central north-south feng shui axis of the capital, was chosen by the Ming emperor Yongle. Today, everyone can climb upstairs and admire the largest bell cast in China, watch a drum performance and survey the views of the surrounding hutong roofs.