Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

The Kaiping Diaolou are fortified multi-storey towers, generally made of reinforced concrete. These towers are located mainly in Kaiping County, Guangdong province, China. The first towers were built during the early Qing Dynasty, reaching a peak in the 1920s and 1930s, when there were more than three thousand of these structures. Today, approximately 1,833 diaolou remain standing in Kaiping, and approximately 500 in Taishan. Although the diaolou served mainly as protection against forays by bandits, a few of them also served as living quarters.

Kaiping has traditionally been a region of major emigration abroad, and a melting pot of ideas and trends brought back by overseas Chinese. As a result, many diaolou incorporate architectural features from China and from the West.

In 2007, UNESCO named the Kaiping Diaolou and Villages as a World Heritage Site. UNESCO wrote, "...the Diaolou ... display a complex and flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western structural and decorative forms. They reflect the significant role of émigré Kaiping people in the development of several countries in South Asia, Australasia, and North America, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the close links between overseas Kaiping and their ancestral homes. The property inscribed here consists of four groups of Diaolou, totaling some 1,800 tower houses in their village settings." (via Wikipedia)

Kaiping Diaolou by Vincentli*

碉樓,在山巔之南 Diaolou in China by vivienne*

@kaiping by Allan_lun

Zi Li village by The Lost Egyptian Mau

Still Life by mb17chung

fortified by overseas chinese by beetabonk

Zili / 自力村 by avezink

Diaolou by kenny ip

無題 by Miles L

Diaolou Cluster in KaiPing - 開平碉樓 by cHoIminG

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