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Tulou - Fujian's clan homes


Fujian Tulou is a unique Chinese rammed earth building of the Hakka and other people in the mountainous areas in China's southwestern Fujian province. They are mostly built between the 12th to the 20th centuries. Tulou is usually a large enclosed building, rectangular or circular in configuration, with a very thick weight supporting earth wall (up to 6 feet thick) and wooden skeletons, from three to five storey's high, housing up to 80 families. These earth buildings usually have only one main gate, guarded by 4-5 inch thick wooden doors reinforced with an outer shell of iron plate. The top level of these earth building have gun holes for defense against bandits. 

Tianluokeng tulou cluster, which we paid a visit to, is one of the better known Fujian Tulou cluster. The cluster consists of a square earth building at the center of a quincunx, surrounded by four round earth buildings (or more exactly, 3 round earth buildings and one oval shape earth building), figuratively nicknamed "Si cai yi tang"  or four dishes with a soup).

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