The 47m-high wood, stone and tile Drum Tower originally dates from 1272 when it was at the center of the Mongol capital.
The tower was rebuilt in 1420 but has been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt over the ages. The tower was damaged in 1900 during fighting between Western forces and the Boxers.
The building was most recently repaired in the 1980s and opened to tourists.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) 25 drums were beaten to mark the hours of the day. On display is the large Night Watchman's Drum and several replica drums.
The Drum Tower offers good views of the nearby Bell Tower
and the rooftops of the hutong below.
The Drum Tower and the Bell Tower together formed the time-keeping center of the ancient city in the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
The Drum Tower (Gulou)
Tel: 6401 2674
The nearest subway station is Gulou on the Circle Line.