Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Down the Dongbuyaqiao Alley to Gǔlóu (鼓楼) & Zhōnglóu (钟楼)

After the walk through Nanluogouxiang, we headed to the Drum and Bell Towers, passing by the quaint Dongbuyaqiao Alley. With a stream running through the locality, the Dongbuyaqiao Alley is quite a quiet and relaxing place. That's one place I would love to live in, sit down by the stream, watch people fish, walk and kids play.... away from the maddening rush of this metropolis!

A lovely bright sunny evening!

This old man man was patiently angling some fish, probably for this dinner...

Serenity in the city!

A manhole with a map of this area!

A kid having a great time!

A pavilion by the stream.... and some place to run around...

Quaint bridge!

They have such a fascination for strange looking stones... so do I!


Placid waters! Is this Beijing?

The cacophony of these playful little angels was like music...

A small Fire Temple by the Dongbuyaqiao Alley...

Back in civillisation and the hustle, and bustle....

The rickshaw pullers were a pesky lot...

And we reached!
Gǔlóu (鼓楼), or the Drum Tower (in photo on the right below), is situated at the northern end of the Inner City, to the north of Di’ anmen Street. Originally built for musical reasons, it was later used to announce the time and is now a tourist attraction. This tower dates back to the 1200s, and was constructed during the reign of Kublai Khan!
Zhōnglóu (钟楼), the Bell Tower (in photo on the left below) stands closely behind Gǔlóu.  Together with the drum tower, they both dominated ancient Beijing's skyline!
Bells and drums were musical instruments in ancient China and were used by government and common people as timepieces. These towers were the center of Chinese chronology during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The Bell and Drum Towers continued to function as the official timepiece of China and government until 1924, when the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty was forced to leave the Forbidden City and western-style clocks was made the official means of time-keeping!

Sadly, we had to return as both the towers had closed for the day! Perhaps, these things happen for a reason - a good excuse to visit Beijing again. Next we head to Houhai!

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