This is an ancient residence in China that has a war defense system


China has ancient housing equipped with advanced defense systems. This housing is said to be the inspiration in the film Mulan.

The housing estate, located in Fujian Province, is called tulou. In the local language, tulou means earth building.

The ancient residence is actually a communal house that can accommodate up to 800 people. The three- to four-story housing estates were built from the wood and mud materials traditionally associated with the Hakka.

The estate is thought to have been built between the 15th and 20th centuries. The building is designed to face the central courtyard so that it is circular in shape.

Reported from Insiders, Hakka people migrated from the provinces of Southern China from the north. This is done because they often face conflicts with indigenous people.

Fujian Tulou Fortress in China. Photo: (Sheng Li/Reuters)

To protect themselves from enemies, the Hakka built tulou walls up to 1.5 meters thick. In addition, their housing is also fortified with iron gates, equipped with underground tunnels and weapons.

« The door openings are usually constructed of granite frames with wooden door panels. Since there is only one entrance, it makes the building easier to maintain, » said Yeo Kang Shua, professor of architectural history, theory and criticism at the Singapore University of Technology and Design.

« Window openings are usually at a higher level, making access from the windows also difficult, » he added.

Fujian Tulou Fortress in ChinaFujian Tulou Fortress in China. Photo: (Sheng Li/Reuters)

The main courtyard is where residents can hold activities such as religious ceremonies, festivals, and weddings.

Apart from Fujian, these tulou houses can also be found in other parts of China, including Guangdong.

« Most tulous have family temples and family schools inside the building, » said Kang Ger-Wen, assistant professor in the Chinese studies department at the National University of Singapore.

« Hakka people view family relationships and education as two of the most important things in their lives, » he added.

Each tulou functions like a self-contained village. Part of the building is divided between families of the same clan.

Fujian Tulou Fortress in ChinaFujian Tulou Fortress in China. Photo: (Sheng Li/Reuters)

Many of these tulous now have electricity and water supply. Meanwhile, the main source of food comes from their own fields and nearby villages.

The corridors connecting the individual rooms on each floor are meant to encourage neighborly interaction among residents.

« As a defensive structure, having a circular plan means there won’t be corners or blind spots, » Yeo said.

Today, the number of people living in tulou has declined over the years as more and more young people move to the city for better jobs and educational opportunities.

Meanwhile, increased tourism in the area has given new life to these historic homes by propping up local businesses.

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