Ancient fortresses called tulou preserve communal life in a curious piece of cultural heritage that…
In China’s Fujian province, residents are working to preserve the way of life in their ancient tulous against the threat of modernisation…
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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.
Rich history, UNESCO sites, strong cross-Straits ties give Fujian global renown, Cao Yingying reports.
Fujian province in East China is famed as an intangible cultural heritage hub for its profound and rich multiculturalism, as well as its close connections with Taiwan.
A total of 33,251 immovable cultural relics are registered in Fujian, ranking the province the 10th-largest in China. The relics include three world cultural heritage sites: Wuyi Mountain; Fujian Tulou known as Hakka earth buildings; and Gulangyu Island.
Gulangyu Island joined UNESCO’s world cultural heritage list at the 41st United Nations World Heritage Committee meeting on July 8, as China’s 36th world cultural heritage site.
The Ancient Quanzhou Citong Relics site plans to apply for UNESCO World Heritage recognition in 2018. The Maritime Silk Road, Three Lanes and Seven Alleys, Timber Arch Lounge Bridge and Red-brick Facades are already on UNESCO’s tentative Intangible Cultural Heritage list.
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.
Despite the Great Wall taking the limelight as one of China’s best known UNESCO World Heritage sites, it is really just the tip of the iceberg. There are currently 50 sites in the Middle Kingdom with World Heritage status and the lesser-known ones make the perfect destination for cultural heritage seekers wanting to take the road less travelled. Here are a few of our favorites and how to visit them in WildChina style.
China’s storied history and culture have left marvelous landmarks throughout the country. Many of them have now been deemed by UNESCO as essential to the preservation of our global cultural heritage. Here’s a look at three of our favorites that are well worth ticking off the list:
THE HOME: FUJIAN TULOU
The Fujian Tulou are better described as “a little kingdom for the family.”