Their design is especially practical: in the event of a conflict, these huge community houses could serve as fortresses.Exterior shot of a Hakka tulou in Fujian, China. fototrav/Getty Images
The Hakka people, who migrated from northern areas to provinces in southern China, often faced conflict with the natives.
To protect against enemy forces, the walls of the tulou could be built up to one and a half meters thick. They were also fortified with iron gates, underground escape tunnels and crevices to allow residents to defend their homes in the event of a siege.
“The doorways are usually made of granite frames with wooden door panels. Since there is only one entrance, the building was easier to defend,” Yeo Kang Shua, an associate professor of architectural history, theory and criticism at the Singapore University of Technology and Design told Insider. .
“Window openings are usually on the higher levels, which also makes access from windows difficult,” he added.
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