"和谐钟塔 - Harmony Tower" Ganzhou Things to Do Tip by view.finder

Ganzhou Things to Do: 11 reviews and 37 photos

  Harmony Clock Tower
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  • Harmony Clock Tower - Ganzhou
      Harmony Clock Tower
    by view.finder
  • View from Tong Tien Yan - Ganzhou
      View from Tong Tien Yan
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A new world landmark?

Situated far away from the city centre of Ganzhou is this rather odd combination of engineering and backwater semi-rural suburbia, juxtaposed with the bizarreness and rapacious ambition of Chinese tourism.

The self-important notion of the city's new 'Harmony Tower' is brashly labelled as the world's tallest, mechanical clock. At 113 metres high the clock tower stands taller than Big Ben, two words almost every English student in China can utter. Next to it, at this riverside location, is a rather eerie take on Tower Bridge, at least in my opinion ... but you have to squint to see it. Really squint and there is no lifting system or guided tours of course.

As of November 2011, the park is far from completion - with the insides and mechanics largely completed, the English construction team have handed completion over to the Chinese and they seem to be rather dragging their feet. I eagerly visited recently during the mid-afternoon siesta-like downtime and found about three workers working on another building in the development. In the surroundings there will probably be shops and facilities and possibly some museum or exhibition space. It struck me (no pun intended) that it seemed an odd place to build such a gargantuan landmark in an area which is hard to reach by foot or public transport, however, it's only about a twenty minute diversion from the CBD. However, nearby you've got factories and neglected parts of the city, including some areas of very serious pollution and why you would want to show this off to tourists I am not sure. However, perhaps in the long term or twenty years time the areas around more than likely will be leveled to make way for new types of beauty in the city and for this city that fancies itself it will slip into place just fine.
It is difficult following China as a rendered drawing as much of the clipart that beautifies signposts and billboards does but if these are to be believed then I'm sure the architects have got it just right.

I am proud to say that the UK engineering team are Smith of Derby (follow the link below, it's an interesting read). Hopefully I'll be able to give a more thorough review in the coming year because like many open spaces, this one's a building site. But the clock is there, on time and chimes every thirty minutes: guess if you build a clock this grandiose it would be pointless to have it belling only every hour. It also means we can go home early if you're not prepared to sit around for a long wait. I tried to open up the doors and have a look inside the building and the downstairs floors but they are all locked and although decorated in a faux, Renaissance style Western look, the spray gold fixtures and fittings are currently gathering dust.

Address: Yangming Road, Zhanggong, Ganzhou, Jiangxi, China
Directions: Harmony Clock Tower (Héxié Zhōng Tǎ, 和谐钟塔)
Ganjiang Highway Bridge, Zhanggong, Ganzhou

Website: http://www.smithofderby.com/public/news/harmony-tower

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  • Updated Feb 28, 2013
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