Watchtower Houses-World Architecture Museum
2014-June-20 Source:
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Moreover, low-lying with dense river networks, along with poor water conservation facilities, the city often suffered from floods caused by typhoons or storms. Therefore, local people built Watchtower Houses to protect themselves from thefts and floods that plagued them.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Watchtower Houses reached a peak. During this period a large number of overseas Chinese, after making a fortune, sent money back or returned home to buy land, build houses and get married. Knowing that the family of the overseas Chinese and those people returning from overseas were rich, the bandits focused on this area. There was a saying - “one footprint, three thieves" at that time. Many locals were murdered because of the money they earned by hard work. In such a dangerous social environment, for self-defense, Watchtower Houses with remarkable defense functions emerged universally in the countryside. They were built with overseas remittance as the main source of funds. Some were built with money raised by a whole village, others by a few households, and some even by a single household. At the peak time, there were more than 3,000 Watchtower Houses in the city. And there was a saying "Which goes no Watchtower Houses, no village." After the outbreak of World War II, with the gradual reduction and final halt of overseas remittance, the Watchtower Houses construction declined. According to a survey, the last Watchtower Houses was built in 1948.


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Editor: 王凯
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