The hutongs (胡同, hútòng in Chinese) are a set of narrow streets and alleys in the historic centre of Beijing. They are formed by lines of siheyuan (四合院, sìhéyuàn in Chinese), traditional residences consisting of a courtyard surrounded by buildings on all four sides. The Bell tower (钟楼, Zhōnglóu in Chinese) is a 48m high brick and stone building with two floors located in the centre of Beijing. In it is a large copper bell, weighing 63 tons and 7m high. Opposite the Bell tower is the Drum tower (鼓楼, Gǔlóu in Chinese), a 47m high red two-storey building which houses a number of large drums which in ancient times were used to announce the time in Beijing. Both towers were built in 1272, and rebuilt twice after two fires.
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