When People Unite 民群集居的力量

The Tulou in Fujian and Diaolou in Guangzhou provinces were self-built structures by the locals who were mainly living outside the fort located deep inside the hilly or mountain areas. Both of these amazing architectural wonders were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2007 and 2008. Today, these heritage sites are becoming more of a tourist attraction than a residential area as they have attracted visitors from different parts of the world.

In the past, the commoners were given protection by the emperors in forts but constant wars among the different quarters battling to eliminate one another had led to the shift of commoners to the southern regions such as Fujian and Guangdong provinces. There, the people began to build their new homes but unfortunately they were met with robbers and bandits. As such, the people themselves decided to build a ‘big house’ so that they could stay together. It was a show of strength and a great example of how everyone could be protected by sheer unity. Besides, the most interesting elements about these structures were the escape routes and embrasures.

福建的土楼和广州的开平碉楼分别在 2008 年和 2007 年被列入世界遗产名录。年轻的一代去旅游,或会问大老远的去看这些古老建筑,除了拍拍照片,那里还有什么。

游览土楼、碉楼,最深刻的印象就是那许多防御的射击孔。那是一般现代化的‘家’都没有的,因为众多的我们幸运的不是活在乱世中。

土楼和碉楼的存在,除了是历史遗迹、民风文化,最原始的理由却是为了生存。团结就是力量,因而有了这种人类群集居住在一起的案例。这两种特色的古老建筑冒出来的时代并不相同,用的建筑材料也有所不同,却都主要是为了防卫而建设。

土楼是宋元时期出现的类似古堡的建筑。族群因为躲避战乱,由中国北部移民到南部而群聚一楼。有些土楼除了通声口、枪口,还有暗道、暗门等以备逃命。

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Eryilou 二宜楼
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Eryilou 二宜楼
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Nanyanglou 南阳楼
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Dongyanglou [东阳楼] 露天民居歌舞剧场

It was a show of strength and a great example of how everyone could be protected
by sheer unity.

团结就是力量,因而有了这种人类群集居住在一起的方式。

The Fujian Tulou or simply known as ‘earth buildings’ were built during the Sung dynasty and its building materials relied heavily on available raw materials such as stones, wood, bamboos and most important, the sand, soil and clay. These buildings come in all shapes and sizes depending on the earth structure and the weather in that area. The main purpose is to create a strong structure with sufficient ventilation and light. In short, these Tulou were well-structured and safe for residents while able to house between 200 to 800 people.

The Hakka and Minan villagers in Fujian were those responsible for constructing these buildings. The buildings could be distinguished in two categories, one being the standalone unit and the other being the cluster type. Although there were many Tulou in the province, only 46 were regarded as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Eryilou, also known as ‘The King of Tulou’, was the largest single unit built in 1770 consisting of four floors from the outside layer and another floor inside. It possesses an impressive outer ring diameter of 71 metres with 48 rooms on each level. Tourists are allowed to visit this building where the residents offer a wide range of local handmade products and souvenirs. Not to mention one would be amazed when walking up and looking into the rooms that were once living quarters. Situated not far from Eryilou were the Nanyanglou and the Dongyanglou. The former is now a museum and the latter was converted to a performing area to entertain and educate visitors on its unique culture.

On the other hand, the Diaolou entered the Chinese architectural scene during the Ming dynasty until right before the end of the Chinese Republic era. Similar to the Tulou, these high towers most combines of Western and Chinese style were built as protection in response to local banditry. There were more than 3,000 of such towers in the past but today, only around 1,800 remain of standing, most of which are unoccupied if not abandoned. The construction of these buildings were mainly funded by overseas Chinese with the hope that their immediate and extended family members could have a safe place to protect themselves when necessary.

土楼的造型有圆形、半圆形、方形、四角形、五角形、交椅形、畚箕形等,各具特色。土楼的建设原料是就地取材的,用的是当地的木头、石头、竹和泥。其建设根据气候地形,精巧的采光、通风,有一定夏寒冬暖的作用,除外还能防风、防震呢!换句话说,那是一个极其实用的安全建设。古时这庞大牢固的单体式的建筑建设,根据大小,可容纳 200-800 人左右。一个土楼,几乎就是一个村落。福建土楼有两种:1)客家土楼、2)闽南土楼。被列入世界遗产名录的有 46 处。土楼又分为单元式,或群土楼。

[二宜楼] 堪称“圆土楼之王”,为福建省单元式闽南土楼的代表,建于清乾隆五年。[二宜楼] 至今还有人居住在里头。大门旁的土墙上印刻着土楼起居应该遵守的条规。往里头走,中间的大广场摆着许多买卖档口,那是一般大伙儿集聚的地方。随着时间变迁,土楼里有着不少中西文化交流的见证:壁画、彩绘、木雕、楹联等等。除了户户供用的梯楼、各住户简朴密集的家、祭拜祖先的厅堂,里头还能看到好一些年迈的妇女健步的扛着重物而行。[二宜楼] 旁是 [南阳楼] – 一座小形圆土楼,目前是《土楼博物馆》。附近另有方形的土楼 [东阳楼],也作露天民居歌舞剧场,演出有关当地文化风俗的短剧如嫁喜娘等。除外,也有好一些住在土楼外的居民,以旅游业、卖土产、经营农家饭菜为生。

碉楼,是始于明朝,后来民初时期才逐渐发展,总体遍布在开平。许多碉楼是海外华侨生回来资助为村落家人建的。民初时多用于防匪、防洪、抗日、共产党地下活动等等。碉楼最多时达 3000 座,如今只存千余座。也许碉楼的建设很多是隐藏在树林或竹林里,再加上产权不明等问题,不少碉楼已是没人居住的了。

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Li Garden 立园
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Zilicun Village 自立村碉楼群

Built with stones, bricks or concrete, these tower-like buildings were very well-equipped with solid prison-like bars and thick metal windows to shelter against any shooting or force entry. Furthermore, there were special embrasures created to take aim at intruders. The Zilicun village was among the best preserved architecture site and it contributed to the largest number of Diaolou recognised by UNESCO. Walking up these old buildings allow visitors to experience how people lived in these tall buildings that were designed not only with relatively small rooms but also narrow staircases with plenty of steps. Nonetheless, the view from the building was breathtaking. Another not-to-be-missed attraction was the luxurious Li Garden with private canal, beautiful gardens and six villas built by a wealthy Chinese emigrant businessman living in the USA. Not forgetting a Diaolou for emergency protection purposes.

The Tulou and Diaolou were once built for protection but today these fine heritage buildings open their doors to the world showcasing what residents in the past would have done to protect their families and belongings. Perhaps the attitude and the unique architecture will be good research and study materials for generations to come.

开平碉楼的建设,融合了中国传统乡村建筑文化与西方建筑文化,有着欧州不同时期不同风格的建筑艺术。开平碉楼种类繁多,若从建筑材料来分,可以分为四种:石楼、夯土楼、青砖楼、混凝土楼。有一些防御的碉楼很高,梯级很多,再有就是那些如牢房的钢窗门、钢铁支、许多的射击孔。

[自立村碉楼] 是景区中最完善碉楼群。想要感受一下碉楼可进去一、两间碉楼逛逛,走一下那些不容易上下的楼梯,看看每一层楼里里外外的情景。不远出的[立园]是一家豪宅,除了建有大小花园、六幢别墅,还有一幢古式碉楼,也就归入碉楼景区之一。

说白了,土楼是把一个村落的人口集聚而成的家,碉楼则一般是过渡时期的避风港。这种人类群集居住在一起的建筑,或许有一天会是未来防御建设的最佳考察项目。

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