Datong Drum Tower locates at the Pingcheng District in Datong. It was built during the reign period of Ming Emperor Tianshun (from 1463 to 1464). The Drum Tower is a typical representative pavilion-style architecture of Ming and Qing dynasties, which fully shows the wisdom and strength of the ancient people. It was selected as the National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit in 2019.
History of Datong Drum Tower
According to historical records, during the Ming Dynasty, there used to be many magnificent buildings especially the towers, such as Taiping Tower, the Bell Tower and Kuixing Tower. Unfortunately, most of these towers were destroyed by fire and natural disasters in the following years; only the Drum Tower survived.
Firstly built in 1463-1464, the tower has been repaired many times during the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912). Because of its important historical values, in 1966, it was regarded as the Provincial Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit. The tower was repaired again in 1978 when the roads around the tower expanded. In 1985, more color paintings were added to the tower. The various patterns were vivid and delicate, making the tower’s appearance completely renewed. The tower has been restored its original old-fashioned, grand and majestic features.
In 2001, the government carried out the comprehensive and large-scale construction of the Drum Tower for reinforcement and repair. The "Datong Ancient Architecture Photography Exhibition" is opened inside the tower, which helps people better understand the ancient appearances of Datong City.
Structures of Drum Tower
For a long time, this 3-storey pavilion-style building used to be a landmark of the ancient Datong City. The square-shape Drum Tower is 18.33 meters long, 14 meters wide and 20 meters high.
This building has three storeys. The first storey was built of blue-stones, and the second and the third storey were built of wood and bricks. Every storey has 4 doors facing 4 directions. Around the tower’s body, there is a wooden corridor on each storey for people to stand and overlook the scenery around the tower. On top of the tower, there is a huge drum. In ancient time, this drum was used for telling time at nights.
Many years ago, each side of the tower was hung with plaques on the wall. Like many other traditional plaques, these plaques were written with lucky words or sentences. However the plaques of Datong Drum Tower didn’t exist any more due to destruction over time.