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Chikan Ancient Town

 Kaiping Attractions

The European Style Street in Chikan Ancient Town is famous for its ancient architectures and the simplicity of local customs, especially those ancient buildings styled in both the Western and the Oriental. This European Style Street was built by those early local overseas Chinese who traveled to Europe and Japan on the base of those architecture drawings in western styles they brought back and combined the local traditional architecture features.

The street is nearly 400 meters long and these building are perfect combinations of the west and the east. They not only focus on the shape of the appearance, but also take building's sturdy and practical into account both from the west and local Chinese traditions. This is why this Chinese and Western architecture complex gets the name "European style street".

European Style Street is uniquely featured by its roof construction. Some of the roofs are steeple towers, while some others pick arched awning from the front wall. Wall decorations are also of great diversity. Embossed, windows forms, moldings, cast iron balcony railings are wildly used, and the Western Baroque or Rococo architectural style can be seen in buildings there. Meanwhile, some Lingnan characteristics, lucky Chinese classical decoration and curly grass pattern were also applied into the architecture.

Among those unique buildings, the arcaded houses are the most commonly seen in Chikan. There are arcaded houses about 3 kilometers long at the number of 600. The arcaded building was popular in Southern Europe and Mediterranean areas in the 1920s and 1930s. At the same time, arcade building was welcomed as it adapted to the characteristics of the local subtropical climate.

They were built to avoid storm and sunshine, and the sidewalks within shops were used for displaying goods and providing customers a cool place to relax. These features just fit the local Kaiping features and this is why arcaded buildings are widely seen there.

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