Kaiping Diaolou and Villages
The nominated Diaolou represent the final flourishing of the local tradition in the Kaiping area since Ming times: bulid defensive towers in response to local banditry. The Kaiping Diaolou was built by conspicuous wealth of the retuning Chinese who contributed to the spread of banditry. Built of stone, pise (compressed earth), brick or concrete, Kaiping Diaolou represent a complex and confident fusion between Chinese and western architectural styles.
The architectural style of Kaiping Diaolou reflects the culmination of almost five centuries tower-house building and these buildings take three forms: communal towers built by several families and used as temporary refuge, of which 473 remain; residential towers built by individual rich families and used as fortified residences, of which 1,149 survive; and watch towers, the latest development, which account for 221 of the buildings. Now Kaiping Diaolou retains a harmonious relationship with the surrounding agricultural landscape.
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