Xishan Bell Tower listed as one of the "National Key Cultural Relics Protection Units"
Known as one of the "Eight Scenes of Wanzhou"
The Xishan Bell Tower, located in Wanzhou Xishan Park, is known as one of the "Eight Scenes of Wanzhou". It is a fusion of Chinese and Western styled building, the landmark of Wanzhou. "It is the only independent bell tower along the Yangtze River, together with Shanghai Customs House and Wuhan Jianghan Customs Bell Tower." According to the person in charge of Wanzhou Cultural Administration Office, the Xishan Bell Tower was a combination of Chinese and Western architecture. It was built in 1930 and completed in 1931, with a total height of 51.71 meters and 11 floors. It is a representative building in the modern urbanization process of Wanzhou.
An architectural representative during the opening period of Wanzhou Port
Since modern times, with the opening of Yangtze River Shipping, more and more commercial ships at home and abroad have entered Wanzhou. In September 1902, Wanzhou was opened as a trading port. In March 1917, Wanzhou Branch of Chongqing Customs was established. In July 1925, Wanzhou officially was opened as the second port city in Sichuan Province after Chongqing. As a result, the goods entering Wanzhou could be directly declared for import and export, and Wanzhou's commerce and trade industry developed rapidly. A prosperous modern city has gradually formed.
"In 1930, the Government of Wanxian City (Wanzhou District) called on businessmen to build the Xishan Bell Tower, in order to unify the time of calculating the tonnage tax of merchant ships by the customs, and to serve as a beacon and lighthouse for ships running on the Yangtze River." According to the person in charge of Wanzhou Cultural Administration Office, the ubiquitous architectural elements of Chinese and western buildings reflected the transformation of architectural aesthetics and the collision and integration of multi-cultures in the special period of modern urban change and development, and became typical architectural representatives in the opening period of Wanzhou Port.
Before the popularization of clocks and watches, the bell in Xishan Bell Tower became the most famous timepiece in Wanzhou. The Hendry vertical clock movement, installed at the lower part of the roof, stroke the huge copper casting bell on the upper part and the four huge circular clock face hands embedded in the sixth outer wall of the building for the whole time reporting and time display. The melodious bell sound has become the most familiar memory among the people of Wanzhou ever since. (Translated by Luo Juan, Fathom Language Limited)