Tag: CN – Fujian Tulou

Take a look inside China’s historical houses, where families lived in giant, donut-shaped forts that were designed to keep invaders out; Amanda Goh; Insider

Photo: Sheng Li

Their design is, above all, practical: In the event of a conflict, these massive communal houses could double as forts.

Source: Take a look inside China’s historical houses, where families lived in giant, donut-shaped forts that were designed to keep invaders out

China’s Massive Earthen Fortresses Once Housed Up To 800 People; Clarissa Wei; National Geographic

China – Fujian Tulou

Discover the giant multistoried homes in a Chinese fortress.

Tucked in the rolling subtropical mountains of the southeast Chinese province of Fujian are a series of giant multi-storied homes built with wood and fortified with mud walls. Constructed between the 15th and 20th centuries, these massive communal homes were sited with feng shui principles and are purposefully nestled amidst tea, tobacco, and rice fields and bountiful forests of pine and bamboo.

These 46 structures are known as the Fujian Tulou. Throughout history, their residents have mostly been Hakka—migrants in southern China who originated from lands adjacent to the Yellow River. Population pressures created conflict between the Hakka and their neighbours, so they built their homes to double as fortification structures.

Walls are up to 1.5 metres thick and can reach 18 metres high. Defensive features include ironclad gates, escape tunnels, and backup stock of grains and livestock.

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Saving China’s forgotten coliseums; Jamie Fullerton; CNN

China – Fujian Tulou

Looking like a design amalgamation of a Roman coliseum and a doughnut, tulou buildings, found in China’s southwest Fujian province, are some of the most stunning historic structures in the country.

But many of these residential buildings, which feature a courtyard surrounded by a perimeter of homes that rise several stories high, are under threat.
Although 46 of the largest and most important tulou have been listed by UNESCO as World Heritage sites, an estimated 3,000 remain in the province with no such status.
Many of these tulou are nearly empty and are falling into disrepair, with homes abandoned as residents leave for economic opportunity in the cities.
UNESCO describes the tulou it protects as “exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living.”
UNESCO points out that tulou design was ideal for defense purposes as well as encouraging communal lifestyles.