At the southeastern coast of China, there are characteristic houses of Minnan feature, which are called Erkecuo . These are houses that are made from oyster shells.
Erkecuo houses have a long history which can be dated back to the Qing Dynasty. They are of high artistic value and only scatted in Xunpu Village, Quanzhou.
Erkecuo houses are covered with big oyster shells. Unlike the shells in local areas, the shells on Erkecuo houses are bigger. According to the instruction of some experts, those shells are from Africa.
Oyster shells on the Erkecuo houses are bigger than the local ones
Xunpu Village, although a small village, has ever been one of the sites of the Maritime Silk Road in the ancient time. People shipped commodities to do trading with African countries. They went there carrying silk, tea, pottery, porcelain, and other items. They then came back with an empty vessel. In order to prevent the vessels from capsizing during return to Xunpu, they carried oyster shells from Africa to increase the weight of the vessels.
Later, the Xunpu local people used these shells as building materials. Through the test of time, Erkecuo is proven to be a good design for the accommodation near the sea. On the one hand, it can prevent the sea wind as well as its corrosion, on the other hand, it can prevent moisture. It is cool in summer and warm in winter.
Additionally, to build an Erkecuo one needs excellent artisanry. Before building it, there is some preparation work needed. First, the builder should consider the ride of the house and build at the request of the house-owner and make the design. Second, select the shells according to design. Third, the shells should be washed and sorted.
A well built wall of an Erkecuo house is like a fishscale; in good order and unique style. It is really a wonderful work of people's effort and intelligence.
How to get there:
Click map to enlarge
1) Take coach to Quanzhou at Songbai Bus Station→then take bus to Xunpu Village.
2) Use a travel agent:
Renting a van packaged with driver is the next best alternative. Call Apple Travel to organize a group tour. If you’ve a small group, The ideal number in the group is 5 or 6.
SOURCE: WOX Info
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