The Bell Tower (Zhong Lou) is a huge building at the very center of Xian, totally 36 meters in height. The original tower was built in 1384 AD, but was rebuilt at the present location in 1739 during the Qing Dynasty. The Bell Tower is a three-storied wooden structure topped with dark green tiles. It is a grand ancient building with the architectural style of the Tang and Song dynasties. It has grey bricks, gold-plating roof, and gilded paintings. There is an ancient large iron bell hung in the tower for marking the time each day and hence the name. This old architectural masterpiece has been considered one of the symbols of Xian city.
The Drum Tower (Gu Lou) is a smaller building which stands to the west of the Bell Tower and marks the Moslem quarter of Xian. It was first built in 1380 AD and restored in 1699 AD and 1740 AD respectively. It measures 33 meters in overall height and its rectangular base is built with grey bricks. In ancient times, a big drum hanging on top of the tower was used for telling time in late afternoon.