China's Centuries-Old Hakka Houses

Geo Beats
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Take a look at china's centuries-old Hakka Houses.

China is home to many forms of unique architecture. One example is the Hakka Houses.

The buildings were first built in the 12 century and construction continued on until the 20th century. The circular structures are reminiscent of apartment complexes, being home to many families and serving as a historic community.

These rural dwellings are also referred to as Fujian Tulou. There are approximately 20,000 of these buildings scattered across the Fujian province. The houses were designed to protect its residents from bandits.

The huge structures form together in a micro-community which is equipped with its own food storage, temples, armories and free space for livestock. Many residents have built gun holes inside the apartments to serve as a defense mechanism against intruders.

Nevertheless, the underlying beauty of the structures remains. In 2008, UNESCO deemed the Hakka Houses a World Heritage Site, citing them as a perfect example of 'tradition and function.'

Although each apartment building varies slightly, most of them range from three to five stories high with clay tiled roofs. Each structure has only one entrance, protected by a wall and gate. Beautiful stone, cobbled walkways contribute to the outwardly visual appearance of the houses.

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