In the western part of Fujian province, there are groups of traditional residential buildings called earth building, which have become the special and unique scenery at Fujian tourism. Fujian earth building are mainly built by materials of mud, wood, stone and bamboo. They are rammed into a building of at least two layers as a ghetto for living from generation to generation. These earth buildings are mainly built by the Hakka people of Fujian, so they have been considered as symbols of Hakka culture and also be called Hakka Earth Building.
Fujian Earth Building are famous for its long history, wide varieties, large scales, ingenious structure, complete functions and rich connotation. They are of great historical, artistic and scientific value. Earth buildings are built on the flat place between mountains and hills, but they have been applied the Fengshui theory of Chinese traditional architecture. They are built to the sunshine direction and avoid wind. For most buildings, they face south with rivers on the left, roads on the right, ponds in the front and hills on the back. This unique location has benefited a lot to people living there.
Also, earth building are built for defensive purposes at the first place. Walls are as thick as one to two meters, no windows in the first and second storey. As long as the solid gate door is closed, earth building has become an unbreakable castle. To prevent from fire attack, there are water and sand leaking devices in the doors. For case of emergency, people can escape from the underground postern. These buildings are really a perfect combination of beauty, art and practical function, demonstrating the wisdom of Hakka people.
Earth buildings are actually a great place for research Hakka culture. It is like a small society within an earth building, it bears the heavy traditional culture. People living there from generation to generation, some even have their own private school for children growing up at that building.
Fujian Earth Buildings are mainly divided into three types by the shape of earth building, phoenix house, square house and round house, among which round houses are the most common and classic ones.
Round earth buildings are built correspondingly according to the axile line. This kind of earth building shows the philosophy of equality and union for people living inside.
Square houses are a general type of earth buildings. They are of square angles and shape viewing from the outside. Under square house, rectangled house, mansion-styled house and palace-styled house are all included into this type.
For the phoenix house, it has five layers of ridges. Its cornices are well-arranged and like a phoenix who is spreading out her wings and ready to fly. These phoenix houses shows the artistic value to the most.
Earth buildings are mainly distributed at Yongding county and Nanjing county, among which earth building at Yongding county are classic representatives.