Fujian Tulou Facts

Fujian Tulou is a type of Chinese rural dwellings of the Hakka in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian Province. Once they were regarded as nuclear equipments by the satellites of USA and caused a panic.

Fujian Gaobei Tulou

Orignin of Tulou

In the old times, people living in southeastern Fujian faced natural and human threads. They had to fend off wild animals from the surrounding forest as well as the occasional group of bandits. In order to protect themselves against bandits and wild beasts, they used local materials to built tall, multi-storey circular earthen buildings where a whole family or clan could live in. These are the earth towers that we see today. These Tulou buildings not only are comfortable dwellings, but also Mighty Fortresses. 

Nanxi Tulou Cluster in Yongding County, Fujian

Construction of Tulou

The construction of Tulou needs long time and many people. It is not very easy to construct, but the local people knew the best way to finish the hard project. These buildings were constructed using fire-resistive material and therefore practically impregnable. They are spacious and they are made up of different shapes like square, rectangular, semi-circular and round. 

Inside an Earth Building in Hekeng Village, Nanjing, Fujian

Features of Tulou

The structure of Tulou indicates culture of China in many ways. To modern people, many things are not familiar, so that is the beauty of Tulou.

The buildings that are round in shape are the most famous. They are divided into three classes of sizes namely, small, medium and big. The small ones are usually 2 to 3 stories tall with a single ring and have 21 to 28 rooms. The medium dwellings are usually 2 to 4 stories tall with a large inner open space, which come in single ring or double rings and could contain 30 to 40 rooms. The larger round buildings are usually 4 to 5 stories tall consisting of as many as three rings and could house about 42 to 58 rooms. Finally, the very small round buildings have about 12 to 18 rooms. 

We can see the main entrance door is padded with iron sheet and is locked by 2 horizontal wood bars. The wooden bars retract into the walls in order to open the door. Inside the entrance is a huge central courtyard where all the doors of the rooms and inner windows open facing it.

Normally, the rooms at the ground level, except the hall and the staircases, are used as kitchens and dining rooms. The rooms on the second floor are used for storage and those on the third level are used as bedrooms. 

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