WORLD HERITAGE        
Kaiping Diaolou and Villages
fusion of eastern and western structural styles
 
Kaiping Diaolou and Villages feature the diaolou, fortified multi-story towers generally made of reinforced concrete. These towers are located mainly in Kaiping County, Guangdong Province.

The first towers were built during the early Qing Dynasty and they reach a peak in the 1920s and 1930s, when there were more than 3,000 of these structures. Today, about 1,833 diaolou remain in Kaiping. The buildings take three forms: communal towers built by several families as contemporary refuge, residential houses as fortified residences and watch towers.

Kaiping has traditionally been a region of major emigration abroad and a melting pot of ideas and trends brought back by overseas Chinese. As a result, many diaolou and their surrounding villages incorporate architectural features from the East and the West.

In 2007, UNESCO named the Kaiping Diaolou and Villages in China as a World Heritage Site. The property consists of four groups of Diaolou, totaling some 1,800 tower houses, with twenty of the most symbolic ones.
 
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