Bianjing Drum Tower

Bianjing Drum Tower
Traditional Chinese
Simplified Chinese
Literal meaning Frontier-Pacifying Building
Former names
Traditional Chinese 瞧樓
Simplified Chinese 瞧楼
Drum Tower
Traditional Chinese 鼓樓
Simplified Chinese 鼓楼

The Bianjing Drum Tower,[1] also known as the Bianjing Pavilion[2] and by its Chinese name as the Bianjing Lou, is a drum tower in Shangguan, the seat of Dai County, Xinzhou Prefecture, Shanxi, in the People's Republic of China. It dates to 1476 and is 39.3 meters (129 ft) high.

History [ edit ]

Yanmen Pass was an important defensive choke point for ancient and medieval China.[2] The nearest major town to its south was the seat of what is now Dai County, previously known variously as Guangwu, Yanmen, and Daizhou. The tower was constructed in Hongwu 7 (1374 CE), for the purpose of military observation and signaling by means of drums.[3] That original structure was destroyed by a fire[4] in Chenghua 7 (1471).[3] The present tower was built on the site of the first[4] in Chenghua 12 (1476).[3] It was further restored 4 times under the Qing, as well as in 1957, 1976, and 1986 under the People's Republic.[3] The more recent renovations dealt with water damage on the first floor.[3] The Bianjing Drum Tower was named a Major Historical and Cultural Site Protected at the National Level by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage in 2001.

Structure [ edit ]

The present drum tower is 39.3 meters (129 ft) high.[2] The stone base is about 40 meters (130 ft) long, 33 meters (108 ft) wide, and 13 meters (43 ft) high.[4] The wooden tower[5] faces south.[3] The traditional Chinese units of measurement are 7 jian in length and 5 in width; it has 3 stories and reaches 26 meters (85 ft) high.[4] Its two large placards read "First Tower of Yanmen" (t 鴈門第一, s 雁门第一, Yànmén Dìyī Lóu) and "Audible in All Directions" (t , s , Shēng Wén Sì Dá).[2]

Museum [ edit ]

The tower holds a local museum.[5] One artifact is a 1.9-meter (6 ft 3 in)-tall stone lantern (t 燈臺, s 灯台, dēngtái) that was carved into the shape of Mount Wutai in Dongzhang c. 720.[1]

See also [ edit ]

References [ edit ]

Citations [ edit ]

  1. ^ a b Lin (2014), pp. 112, 114, & 207–210.
  2. ^ a b c d CUT (2016).
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hua & al. (2000), p. 232.
  4. ^ a b c d Li & al. (2001), p. 145.
  5. ^ a b Allen (2014), p. 297.

Bibliography [ edit ]

  • "Yanmenguan Pass", Official site, China Unique Tour, 2016, archived from the original on 2016-08-18CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link).
  • Allen, Edward (2014), "Border Politics in Ming Datong", Datong: A Historical Guide, Beijing: China Atomic Energy Press, pp. 251–324.
  • Hua Chenlong; et al. (2000), "Designs for the Restoration of Bianjing-lou", China Archaeology & Art Digest, Vol. 4, No. 1.
  • Li Yuming; et al. (2001), An Overview of Shanxi's Old Architecture, Shanxi People's Publishing. (in Chinese) & (in English)
  • Lin Wei-cheng (2014), Building a Sacred Mountain: The Buddhist Architecture of China's Mount Wutai, Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Datong: A Historical Guide, China through the Looking Glass, Beijing: China Atomic Energy Press, 2014.

External links [ edit ]

Coordinates: 39°03′49″N112°56′53″E / 39.0635°N 112.948°E / 39.0635; 112.948

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