Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

Scene Introduction

Kaiping Diaolou and VillagesKaiping Diaolou and Villages, located in Kaiping City, Guangdong Province, approved as a national cultural heritage site in 2001, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2007. It features the Diaolou, multi-storied tower-like structures that exquisitely integrate the Western architectural style with the Chinese architectural style, which display a complex and flamboyant fusion of Chinese and Western structural and decorative forms.

There are 4 groups of Diaolou and 20 of the most symbolic ones are in the List. These buildings mainly have 3 forms: communal towers built by several families and used as temporary refuge, residential towers built by individual rich families and used as fortified residences, and watch towers built of stone, brick or concrete. These buildings represent a complex and confident fusion between Chinese and Western architectural styles.

The Diaolou and its nearby villages demonstrate Outstanding Universal Value for their complex and the combination of Chinese and western architectural styles, for their final flowering of local tower building traditions, for their completeness and unaltered state resulting from their short life span as fortified dwellings and their comparative abandonment and for harmonious relationship with their agricultural landscape. They reflect the culmination of almost five centuries of tower-house building and the still strong links between Kaiping and the Chinese Diaspora and the significant role of Kaiping people in the development of several countries.

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