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Drum Tower (Gulou)

The Drum Tower - or Gulou - was built during the Ming Dynasty, just a few years before the neighboring Bell Tower. It is largely in the same style as that building, though in a rectangular rather than a square format. From here sunset was marked by the beat of the drum, sunrise having been announced in the Bell Tower. Drums are a big deal here, in fact China’s biggest percussion instrument sits in the building’s center. There’s a smaller drum which you can beat three times for good luck (for a fee). Or leave it to the professionals, with regular performances of pounding beats and dancing.

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