Gulou, China

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Gulou, China

Region: Jiangsu


Geographic Coordinates: 26.086500, 119.298000
Temperature Range: -40.0°C to 40.0°C (-40°F to 104°F)
Climate: Climate: Humid subtropical climate with hot and humid summers, and mild winters. Weather patterns: Wet season from May to September with frequent thunderstorms, dry season from October to April with occasional snowfall.
Population: 2606000
Language: Mandarin

Gulou, Also known as Drum Tower in English, Is a historic landmark located in the heart of Nanjing city, Jiangsu province, China. The tower was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and has since become one of the most iconic attractions in the city. It stands at 47 meters tall and is made entirely out of wood and bricks. The tower’s name comes from its function as a drum tower where drums were beaten to signal time during ancient times.

The drum beats would indicate when it was time to open or close the city gates or when there was an emergency that required attention. Today, Visitors can witness a live performance of drumming every hour from 9 am to 5 pm. Aside from its historical significance, Gulou offers stunning panoramic views of Nanjing’s skyline. Visitors can climb up to the top floor via a steep staircase consisting of 64 steps where they will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Xuanwu Lake and Purple Mountain. The surrounding area around Gulou is also worth exploring.

The streets are lined with traditional Chinese architecture that dates back hundreds of years ago. There are numerous shops selling souvenirs such as calligraphy brushes and ink stones which make for great gifts for loved ones back home. In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, Gulou has also played an important role in Chinese history. During World War II, It served as a lookout point for Japanese soldiers who occupied Nanjing at that time. It was later used by communist forces during their takeover of Nanjing in 1949.

Overall, Gulou is not only an architectural masterpiece but also represents China’s rich cultural heritage and history. Its significance goes beyond just being another tourist attraction; it serves as an important reminder of China’s past struggles and triumphs while offering visitors an unforgettable experience they won’t soon forget!



Important Landmarks

  1. Gulou Tower (Drum Tower)
  2. Confucius Temple
  3. Nanjing Museum
  4. Xuanwu Lake Park
  5. Zhonghua Gate (Gate of China)
  6. Presidential Palace
  7. Jiming Temple
  8. Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum
  9. Qinhuai River Scenic Area
  10. Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum

Primary Industries

  • Gulou is a district situated in Nanjing, China, that is famous for its historical landmarks, universities, and cultural attractions.
  • The district boasts several major industries and businesses including education, tourism, retail, healthcare, technology, finance and food industry.
  • Education is one of the primary industries in Gulou as it houses some of the most prestigious universities such as Nanjing University and Southeast University. Additionally, several other notable institutions like Nanjing Normal University are also located here.
  • Tourism is another significant industry in Gulou due to its rich cultural heritage. Tourists can explore places like the Confucius Temple or take a stroll along Qinhuai River Scenic Area or visit Zhonghua Gate.
  • Retail industry thrives in Gulou with shopping centers like Deji Plaza and Golden Eagle International Shopping Center catering to shoppers’ needs.
  • Healthcare facilities are also abundant with hospitals like Jiangsu Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine providing medical care to residents.
  • Technology sector’s growth has been remarkable with companies such as Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Tencent Holdings Limited having offices here contributing significantly to the economy.
  • Finance sector flourishes with banks such as China Construction Bank Corporation (CCB), Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), Agricultural Bank of China Limited (ABC) having their headquarters or branches located within Gulou district.
  • Lastly but importantly food industry plays a vital role in catering to both locals & tourists alike. There are plenty of restaurants serving traditional Chinese food along with international cuisines satisfying everyone’s taste buds.
  • Overall Gulou’s economy has a diverse mix of traditional industries like tourism & education along with modern sectors like technology & finance making it an important business hub in eastern China.

  • Noteable History

    1. Ming Dynasty: During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Gulou was the political hub of Nanjing and functioned as the imperial palace.
    2. Taiping Rebellion: In 1853, rebels captured Nanjing during the Taiping Rebellion (1850-1864) and established their capital in Gulou.
    3. Sun Yat-sen: Sun Yat-sen, a revolutionary leader who played a crucial role in overthrowing the Qing Dynasty, set up his headquarters in Gulou during his 1911 revolution.
    4. Jiang Jieshi: Jiang Jieshi (also known as Chiang Kai-shek), an eminent Chinese politician and military leader, served as governor of Jiangsu Province from 1927 to 1930 and had an office in Gulou.
    5. Japanese Occupation: Japanese forces occupied Nanjing during World War II from December 1937 to January 1945. The Japanese army used several buildings in Gulou as their headquarters.
    6. Cultural Revolution: Political turmoil during China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) led to many historic buildings being destroyed or damaged in Gulou.
    7. Confucius Temple: The Confucius Temple is one of the most famous attractions located within Gulou that dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279).
    8. Qin Huai River: The Qin Huai River runs through Gulou for centuries has been an important cultural landmark that has inspired poets and artists throughout history.
    9. Xuanwu Lake Park: Xuanwu Lake Park is situated near Gulou featuring scenic views of Xuanwu Lake along with historic landmarks such as Zifeng Tower and Zhonghua Gate.

    Overall, numerous significant historical events have taken place within Gulou, and the district continues to remain an important cultural and historical center in China.


    Museums and Things To See

    1. Gulou Drum Tower is a historic monument and landmark of the city, offering stunning views of the surrounding area.
    2. Confucius Temple is a temple dedicated to Confucius, featuring beautiful architecture and cultural artifacts.
    3. Nanjing Museum is one of the largest museums in China, showcasing a vast collection of art, history, and culture.
    4. Presidential Palace is a former residence of Chinese leaders, now converted into a museum showcasing the country’s political history.
    5. Xuanwu Lake Park is a scenic park with a lake at its center, offering beautiful views and recreational activities like boating and cycling.
    6. Purple Mountain Observatory is an astronomical research facility that offers public tours and stargazing events.
    7. Ming Xiaoling Mausoleum is the final resting place of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of the Ming Dynasty.
    8. Laomendong Ancient Street is a charming street lined with traditional shops selling local snacks and souvenirs.
    9. Jiangsu Art Museum features contemporary Chinese artwork as well as international exhibitions.
    10. Zhonghua Gate (Gate of China) was an ancient city gate that once served as an entrance to Nanjing’s imperial palace complex during the Ming Dynasty era.


    Sports Teams

    1. Jiangsu Suning FC: This football club was established in 1994 and has won numerous domestic titles including the Chinese Super League.
    2. Jiangsu Dragons: This basketball team was founded in 1958 and has won multiple Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) championships.
    3. Jiangsu Sainty FC: This football club was founded in 1958 and has enjoyed a long history of success in Chinese football leagues.
    4. Jiangsu Nangang Basketball Team: This basketball team was established in 1952 and has also won multiple CBA championships.
    5. Nanjing Tongxi Monkey King: Another basketball team based out of Nanjing which plays at the Wutaishan Gymnasium with their home games being attended by thousands of fans.


    Cultural Events

    • 1. Gulou Drum Tower Festival: This festival is held annually to celebrate the history and culture of the Gulou district. It features traditional music and dance performances, as well as food stalls and cultural displays.
    • 2. Lantern Festival: Celebrated on the 15th day of the first lunar month, this festival marks the end of Chinese New Year celebrations. People light up lanterns and enjoy traditional foods like yuanxiao (sweet glutinous rice balls).
    • 3. Mid-Autumn Festival: This festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month and is a time for family reunions, moon watching, and eating mooncakes.
    • 4. Qingming Festival: Also known as Tomb Sweeping Day, this festival takes place in early April when people visit their ancestors’ graves to pay respects and clean them.
    • 5. Double Ninth Festival: Celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month, this festival is also known as Chongyang Festival or Senior Citizens’ Day. It’s a time to honor elderly people by climbing mountains or hills together.
    • 6. International Tea Culture Expo: Held every year in September or October, this expo showcases different types of tea from around China and other countries while promoting tea culture education.
    • 7. Beijing International Tourism Cultural Fair: Held annually in May or June at Beijing Exhibition Center in Gulou district showcasing tourism-related products from all over China including food specialties from different regions of China.
    • 8. Beijing Design Week: This annual event takes place every September with exhibitions featuring contemporary design works from artists around China including fashion shows showcasing designs inspired by traditional Chinese clothing styles.

    • Cuisine

      • Roujiamo (Chinese Hamburger) at Yan Rou Jia Mo
      • Hot Pot at Haidilao Hot Pot
      • Dumplings at De Fa Chang Dumpling Restaurant
      • Spicy Sichuan Cuisine at Chen Mapo Tofu
      • Noodles at Lanzhou Lamian No. 1 Shop
      • Peking Roast Duck at Quanjude Roast Duck Restaurant
      • Seafood Street Food at Shui Jing Fang Seafood Market
      • Traditional Chinese Tea House experience at Taiji Teahouse

      Note: These establishments are some of the popular ones among locals and tourists visiting Gulou area in China based on online reviews and ratings from various sources like TripAdvisor, Yelp etc.


      Parks and Recreation

      1. Xuanwu Lake Park: a large park that features a beautiful lake, walking paths, and scenic views.
      2. Nanjing Museum: this museum showcases Chinese art and history through its exhibits.
      3. Purple Mountain Scenic Area: an area with mountainous terrain, hiking trails, temples, and stunning views.
      4. Zhongshan Botanical Garden: visitors can explore various plants and flowers in this botanical garden.
      5. Gulou District Sports Center: a sports center equipped with facilities for basketball, swimming, tennis, and more.
      6. Mochou Lake Park: another park with a picturesque lake surrounded by walking paths and pavilions for relaxation.
      7. Qinhuai River Scenic Area: visitors can enjoy boat rides on the river during the day or night-time performances along its banks.
      8. Ming Palace Ruins Park: an archaeological site featuring the ruins of an ancient palace complex from the Ming Dynasty era (1368-1644).
      9. Jiangsu Art Museum – showcases Chinese art collections including paintings from different periods in China’s history
      10. Nanjing Olympic Sports Center – A multi-purpose stadium which hosts concerts as well as sporting events

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