Zengchong Drum Tower, Congjiang – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

zengchong drum tower congjiang

Zengchong Drum Tower (增冲鼓楼), also known as Congjiang Drum Tower, dating back to 1672, stands proudly as the oldest, largest, and best-preserved Dong ethnic drum tower in Guizhou Province, China. This unique structure is an iconic folk building for the Dong people, serving as a venue for community discussions, dispute resolutions, welcoming guests, singing grand songs, playing the reed pipe, and other significant events.

Constructed with fir wood, the Zengchong Drum Tower takes on a pagoda-like shape with a double-gourd roof and a total of thirteen stories. Its octagonal, pointed roof rises to a height of 25 meters, with the wooden framework reaching an impressive 17.65 meters. Although repairs were undertaken during the Daoguang and Guangxu periods, it wasn’t until 1982 that the Guizhou provincial government allocated funds for comprehensive restoration, preserving the tower’s original appearance.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 hour
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours24 hours a day

Location and Transportation

Zengchong Drum Tower is located in Zengchong Village, Wangdong Town, approximately 82 kilometers northwest of the county seat of Congjiang in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China.

Due to the relatively remote location of Zengchong Drum Tower, visitors have limited transportation options. The recommended methods are either self-driving or taking a long-distance bus from Congjiang County Bus Station to Wangdong Town. Once in Wangdong Town, visitors can arrange for private transportation, such as hiring a car or taxi, to reach Zengchong Drum Tower.

Structure of Zengchong Drum Tower

The drum tower’s floor plan is octagonal, featuring a central circular hearth with a diameter of 1.4 meters, surrounded by four large benches. On the ground floor, doors are placed on the south, north, and west sides, while an elevated stone table is positioned on the east side. Hanging from the ground floor is a plaque dating back to the tenth year of the Daoguang era (1830), bearing the inscription “万里和风” (Wanli Hefeng), meaning “Harmony across a Thousand Miles.” Additionally, four wooden couplets adorn the entrance.

Up to the second floor, there are no fixed stairs, but holes in the floor suggest spaces for temporary ladders. From the third floor onwards, fixed wooden stairs are in place. To facilitate the dispersion of smoke from the hearth, the second, third, and fourth floors have open spaces outside the golden pillars, creating a hollow interior. Wooden railings are placed between the pillars and around each floor. The fifth floor features an overhanging eave and is adorned with decorative bracket sets, both providing structural support and ornamental flair.

The top two layers form the eight-eave, eight-corner umbrella-like roof, representing the pinnacle of the drum tower. These two layers utilize bracket set structures with interlocking brackets, showcasing exquisite craftsmanship. In the highest chamber, a 3-meter-long, 50-centimeter-diameter drum made of cowhide is suspended. This drum serves as a commanding instrument for summoning the village residents for discussions and alerts. When there are matters to be discussed or during festive occasions, the elder strikes the large drum, rallying the villagers to gather in the grand hall of the drum tower to receive instructions and announcements.

Zengchong Drum Tower not only stands as an architectural marvel but also embodies the Dong people’s rich cultural heritage. It serves as a living testament to the community’s traditions, offering a glimpse into the important role this structure played in the social and cultural life of the Dong ethnic group throughout history.

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