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Special Series - Secrets of the Fujian Tulou

Today, we´re beginning a brand new series, all about one of the most extraordinary types of house in China; the tulou. The tulous are rural dwellings found in the southeastern province of Fujian. Constructed from the 12th century right up to the 20th, tulous are typically three to five story structures with a thick earthen wall and a single entrance. They tend to be vast, well-fortified structures, capable of housing up to 800 people. In fact, they originally functioned as village units offering safety, shelter and a sense of community. In 2008, the tulous were named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the thousands of Tulou buildings, the Zhengcheng Tulou is one of the most famous. Popularly, it is known as "The Prince of the Tulous".
Details: World Cultural Heritage - Fujian Tulou


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Full Episodes

Secrets of the Fujian Tulou Part 1- Comfortable dwellings


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The Tulous are rurul dwellings found in the southeastern province of Fujian. Constructed from the 12th century right up to the 20th, Tulou is typically 3 to 5 stories structures with a thick, earthern wall and a single entrance. They tend to be vast, well-fortified structures capable of housing up to 800 people.

Secrets of the Fujian Tulou Part 2- Mighty fortresses


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Tulou is a particular construction in China. The Hakka Tulou culture in Yong Ding County are unique in the world.There are more than 20,000 Tulou buildings of various sizes in Yongding County. Archaeological finds have proved that people living 5,000 to 6,000 years ago had mastered the earth ramming technique.

Secrets of the Fujian Tulou Part 3- Charming towers


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The Tulou was built by Hakka people for whom they serve the due purpose of giving them some more to live and protecting them. How was Tulou building´s material chosen? And what was the life like inside them? Yongding is a mountain place with very little water. So where did local Hakka people get money they needed to build Tulou?

Secrets of the Fujian Tulou Part 4- Home sweet home


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To clan members who lived together, a loving attitude, a concern for the needs of others, care and mutual help were essential. Ancestral halls are very important in Chinese culture, as a way to trace roots and origin, for people to bear in mind. Respecting the ancestors and older generations is the worthy tradition of Hakka people. So the ancestral hall is the center of the Tulou. Everything takes place around them.

Secrets of the Fujian Tulou Part 5- A lasting bond


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A Tulou is a multistory earth-built structure designed for both community living and defensive purposes. The Tulous were built by the Hakka people in southern Fujian, mostly between the 12th and the 20th centuries. Although the Hakka people obviously appreciate the benefits of their home comforts and the communal way of life, they never confine themselves to the area. The fact is the Hakka people are great travellers.