Kaiping Watchtowers | Kaiping Diaolou

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The diaolou (watchtowers) are fortified multi-storied towers, generally made of reinforced concrete. Diaolou is a special style of Chinese countryside architectures; it combines defence, living together with art. Located mainly in Kaiping County, Guangdong province, Kaiping Diaolou was awarded as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2007.

Kaiping Diaolou appeared during Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) the latest. The Diaolou were first built up to defense the robbers because of the disordered society. The rise of Diaolou was related to Kaiping's geography and its confusion during that time. It developed as a unique cluster of architecture which represents the history of overseas Chinese, social configuration and culture. They reflect the significant role of Kaiping people in the development of several countries in South Asia, Australasia and North America, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Diaolou combines styles of Chinese architectures together with western styles like ancient Greek, Rome and Islamic. The typical diaolou are Ruishi Diaolou which is regarded as the first tower of Kaiping; Majianglong diaolou and Fangshi Denglou which is known as the "Light Tower" because it had an enormous searchlight as bright as the beam of a lighthouse.

Kaiping Diaolou Kaiping Diaolou
Typical look of Kaiping Diaolou Combination of Oriental and Western tones

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