Watchtower Houses-World Architecture Museum
2014-June-20 Source:
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Kaiping watchtower Houses are the result of overseas Chinese and local peoples actively absorbing foreign cultures. Their architectural style and decorative arts are amazing. They include traditional Chinese hard roof and suspending-roof styles, along with foreign styles of different historical periods such as Gothic and Roman. They incorporated ancient Greek porticos, Roman arches and columns, Islamic leaf-shaped arches and iron carvings, Gothic arches, mountain flowers of Baroque architecture, decoration techniques of the literary and artistic movements, and artistic expressions of industrialization. In short, overseas Chinese living in different countries have different aesthetic views. What’s more, Kaiping is rich in craftsmen. It has produced excellent artisans from generation to generation. These craftsmen poure their own aesthetic consciousness and unique handicrafts into these towering works, thus creating a unique corridor of architecture.

Kaiping Watchtower Houses are well-known for their combination of Chinese and Western styles. They are famous for their richly exotic structures. Over the past hundred years, these towers have been standing in the vast fields of Kaiping and become a unique countryside view in the world. Currently, there are more than 1,800 Watchtower Houses existing in Kaiping. They are renowned as a “stunning gallery of architectural art,” a "cultural model of overseas Chinese," and a "World Architecture Museum." Of them, there are 35 most outstanding ones distributed in the villages of Sanmenli, Zili, Maxianglong, and Jinjiangli. Maxianglong Village in Baihe Town is especially regarded as the world's most beautiful village by the United Nations experts. Zili Village is listed as China’s famous historical and cultural village.

Kaiping Watchtower Houses and the villages where they are located were put by the UNESCO onto the World Heritage List as China's 35th world heritage on June 28, 2007.

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Editor: 王凯
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