The Fujian Tulou are 46 earthen buildings that were made primarily for defense and as a place for communities to live together peacefully.
As the population grew in southeastern China, more conflict arose between the people. In response to this, the first tulous were built. The oldest tulou was built hundreds of years ago, back in 1308. They come in a variety of sizes, with the largest containing more than 400 rooms. The Fujian Tulou are the best examples that we have of tulou that have survived to this day.
The Fijian Tulou are still lived in today by the ancestors of those who originally built them, giving visitors a chance to see first-hand how these earthen homes have been used for hundreds of years.
One of the main purposes of tulou is for communal living. A whole family or clan often resides together in one of these buildings. There are shared living areas in the large, round building that bring everyone together throughout the day. These areas include a kitchen and dining area, grain stores, and bedrooms, which are located on the top floors.
Tulou buildings have a unique architecture. The buildings have very thick walls that are 10 feet wide, which enabled them to hold up in any circumstance of their time, such as attacks, fires, and even earthquakes. Many of them have three sets of circular buildings. Usually, the outer ring is where everyone sleeps and eats, with the middle building being where the bathrooms are located, and finally, the inside building is where the clan can relax together and pay respects to their ancestors.
mud and river stones
The construction materials of these earthen buildings include mud and river stones. Walls were built using mud from the nearby fields, which was then reinforced with bamboo and mixed with lime and sand to make a very sturdy, thick defense system. Many were so well built that they still stand today after hundreds of years.
Tulou buildings were also built for defense. With thick and tall walls, often reaching up to 60 feet, the inhabitants could easily protect their home. They further equipped these buildings with iron gates, escape tunnels that ran underground, and slits through the roof to poke their weapons through.
Water wells, grain storage, and extra livestock were kept within the walls to prepare for a siege if they could not escape for a time.
10 sites in this World Heritage
- Chuxi Tulou Cluster
- Hokgkeng Tulou Cluster
- Gaobei Tulou Cluster
- Yanxiang Lou
- Zhenfu Lou
- Tianloukeng Tulou Cluster
- Hekeng Tulou Cluster
- Huaiyuan Lou
- Hegui Lou
- Dadi Tulou Cluster