The Bell Tower of Huiyuan City, Ili

Why is The Bell Tower of Huiyuan City So Special?

In China, wherever there is history, there is often a bell tower or drum tower, or a bell and drum tower combined into one. in the era when there is no clock, the bell and drum tower represents time and history. Huiyuan ancient city was the capital of Xinjiang in the Qing Dynasty. It was the political, economic, military and cultural center of Xinjiang at that time. It was also the central city of Ili’s “Nine Cities”. Huiyuan built the bell and drum tower as early as Guangxu (1883). due to some historical reasons, the bell on the bell and drum tower has been lost for a hundred years. today, thanks to the efforts of all sectors of society, the restoration of the bell has been completed.

Where is The Bell Tower of Huiyuan City

Located in Huocheng County, Yili, Xinjiang, the Bell and Drum Tower is located in the center of Huiyuan ancient city. It is a typical brick and wood structure building style of Qing Dynasty. It is located 400 meters west of Yili General Office and faces the General Office from the east to the west.

Main Attraction of The Bell Tower of Huiyuan City

The bell and drum tower, which is now in front of us, was built in 1883 and is a building of the same period as Huiyuan new town and Yili general government.

In ancient times, drums and clocks were used to tell the time. The opening and closing of the city gates at day and night were signaled by the morning bell and the evening drum.

The bell and drum tower is 23 meters high and has four floors. the first floor is a base floor with a slightly square shape. the outside is inlaid with blue bricks. the three-storey pavilion on it is a wooden structure.

Entering the base, the center of the ceiling is painted with eight diagrams, showing the breadth and depth of traditional Chinese culture.  Each side of the base has an open arch about four meters wide, inside which there is a cross passage that can lead to the four main streets of east, west, south and north.

On the right side of the wall inside the base are three stone tablets leaning against each other. When approaching, the front one is a small stone tablet on which are carved two dragons.  The carved word “imperial edict” is clearly discernible on the stone tablet in the middle, and the text of the imperial edict is vertically arranged from right to left.

On the left wall there is an open small door, which goes up the steps to the platform of the base. The three-story wooden color building stands on the platform.

In the pavilion on the second floor, we saw a big drum, which knocked with the hand and made a vigorous “dong dong” sound.  Xiao Jiang from the Wenguan Institute of Huocheng County introduced that once upon a time, there were big drums and big clocks on hold here for the purpose of telling the time, which was the signal for the day and night opening and closing of the gate.  According to the local old man, during the revolution in the Third District, some people with worries, fearing that the bell and drum would be destroyed by the war, hid the bell and drum under the ground to the south of the Bell and Drum Tower.  The big drum seen now is not a relic of that time.

Standing on the bell and drum tower, one can think of the opening and closing of the gate in the morning and dusk.  In ancient times, many cities in our country had bell and drum towers, and the idiom “dusk drum and morning bell” was set up here.

Best Time to Travel The Bell Tower of Huiyuan City

Every autumn, that is, August and September, is the best time to visit Ili.

At this time, the weather began to cool and the fruits began to mature. This is a very suitable time to travel. At this time, most scenic spots began to hang attractive gold. Let’s travel in the golden ocean. The natural scenery around Ili is very beautiful. In our spare time , we take our family to Ili to play, eat delicious fruits and enjoy different local conditions and customs. I believe this is a very beautiful moment and a very happy memory.

How to Get There

  • Take a plane from Urumqi to yining city, then change buses to huocheng county. Then charter a car to the scenic spot at a price of about 100 yuan.

Useful Travel Tips

  • The morning light in summer in Xinjiang is earlier, it is about 6:30 in the morning in the plain area and it will light up at about 7:00 in the mountain area, but breakfast in Xinjiang hotels usually starts at 8:30, lunch time is 13: 00-14: 30, dinner time is about 19: 30-20: 30, and the sun will not set until 22:30 in the evening, so pay attention to adjust the time difference when traveling to Xinjiang.
  • Xinjiang has a large number of halal meals, mainly beef and mutton. Cities also have Sichuan, Hunan, Guangdong and other local restaurants with national characteristics. In remote areas and scenic spots, halal meals are the main food. Pasta is the main staple food in Xinjiang, but rice is the main food for group meals. Sheep meat is the main meat in Xinjiang, and the smell of mutton is very small, which is acceptable to the general public.

Nearby Attractions

Recommended Xinjiang Tour Packages

Edited by Doreen/张洋