The Bell Tower has a much smaller and simpler appearance than the Drum Tower behind which it was closely built. The original construction of the Bell Tower was completed in 1273, at the same time as the Drum Tower, but later burnt down.
The Emperor Qianlong had it rebuilt in 1747 and this time a stone structure was used to prevent it getting burnt down by fire or destroyed by an earthquake. During the old days of China the Bell Tower was to set the time every day by beating its massive bronze bell 13 times at 7 p.m. And afterwards time was marked every hour with one beat, during the day by the Drum Towerâ€™s drum and during the night by the Bell Towerâ€™s bell.
The Bell Towerâ€™s original bell had been made up of iron, but as it wasnâ€™t tolling loud enough it was replaced by the 10 inch thick bronze bell. Its chime could be heard 20 kilometers away until 1924.