Da Zhong Si (Big Bell Temple) Museum
   A31 North Third Ring Road
   Beijing, China
   LL: N 39.9670, E 116.3318
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   T: 010 6255 0843




   A collection of Oriental temple bells,
   the largest (46.5 tonnes, c.1405)
   having been since 1743 in the former
   temple which since 1985 has housed this
   museum.  32 are on display outdoors,
   with many more of varying sizes indoors.

*Technical data:

   Carillon-sized collection of at least 32 bells
   Pitch of heaviest bell is unknown
   Transposition is unknown
   Keyboard range:     NONE  /    NONE  
   The arrangement of tones and/or semitones
     is non-standard; see Remarks above.
   Work was done (as described in Remarks above) in 1985
     by the maker cited in Remarks above
   Year of latest technical information source is 2009


An official tourism page opens with a panorama of the Yongle bell itself plus a detailed analysis and history, though it is not precisely dated.  Also outside here are 30 other bronze bells from four different dynasties.

Frommer's Guide tells how to find this place in the Haidian district.

A Wikipedia article on the Da Zhong Si (Big Bell Temple), with photo of the great bell, cast during the dynasty of Emperor Yong Le (1403-1424).

An article/photo gallery from says "The Yongle Big Bell weighs about 46 tons, with a height of 5.5 meters and a diameter of 3.3 meters.  The bell is famous not only because of its size, but probably more importantly because of the over 230,000 characters of Buddhist scriptures engraved on it."  Includes photos of many other bronze bells (but not all of the total of 600 or so).

A travel page has a description of the museum, with 3 photos.

More photos from the museum (not well coordinated with the borrowed text)

Even more photos from the museum

As a collection, this site is not indexed by maker, number, year or weight.

Index to all tower bell instruments in China.


   This page was built from the database on 13-Aug-09
   based on textual data last updated on 2009/07/30
   and on technical data last updated on 2009/07/30

Explanations of page format and keyboard range are available.

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