The Diaolou group, with twenty symbolic ones, are inscribed into the UNESCO world culture heritage in 2007. Diaolou, located at South of China in Kaiping, are village houses for the purpose of defence and protection from local bandits during the 19th to 20th centuries. As the leading group of complex demonstrating the western architectural style in China, the significance of Diaolou lies in the flamboyant fusion of local Chinese and western elements.
Three Forms of Diaolou
Diaolou can be classified into 3 types:
The functionality of these towers are purely for defense. These diaolou is shared by the households of community, they share the construction cost and a room will be shared by each family. this towers will serve as a refuge for them to avoid from gangsters or floods. As they’re mainly use for defense, the towers are built in a simple and cost-effective way to achieve the purpose of protection.
Dwelling Towers are built by rich families. Besides defensing, these towers are also made for habitation. Spacious rooms and sufficient daily facilities create a cozy environment for living.
They are found at the village entrance, outside the village, or near the riverbank. Designed relatively higher than other towers, it is used for detecting robbers and bandits before they enter the village so that the villagers can prepare for themselves.