Sound of Yongle Bell Can Be Heard 90 Kilometers Away
The Yongle Bell is kept in the Dazhong Temple in Beijing. It is 6.75 meters in height, and weighs 46.6 tons with a diameter of 3.3 meters. The bell has a history of more than 500 years and was cast by first building a mold on the ground and then filling the mold with melted copper.
After the Yongle Bell was completed it was transferred to several places and was finally placed at Juesheng Temple during Emperor Qianlong’s reign in the Qing Dynasty. Juesheng Temple was then renamed Bell Temple, or Dazhong Temple. Since its settlement in 1751 in the temple, it has never been moved.
The sound of the bell is melodious and pleasant to the ear. A test by the experts shows that the vibrating of the bell resembles or is the same as the music notes in terms of frequency. The bell’s sound is mellow and deep when struck slightly and resonating when struck heavily. The sound is elegant and clear. The sound of the bell can spread as far as 45 kilometers with the last sound lasting over 2 minutes – a truly amazing art.
Upon the coming of the New Year, Yongle Bell will be rung. This tradition has continued for over 500 years, leaving the bell in good condition nevertheless. Technicians once analyzed the composition of the bell and found high-rate-containment of gold and silver apart from copper, stannum, lead, iron and magnesium. The bell is found to contain 16.6 kilos of gold and 38 kilos of silver. Experts say the combination of gold with copper can prevent the bell from being rusted, while silver will activate the melted copper when casting, which contributing the everlasting quality of the ancient bell.
A foreign expert in foundry once commented that the successful casting of Yongle Bell is a miracle throughout the world, which is hard to be done even today.