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angcun Residential Buildings

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One of the outstanding Yangcun residential buildings is Fort Yanyi, which was built by a Yangcun resident Lai Fuzhi, during the years of Shunzhi Emperor in Qing Dynasty, about 320 years ago. It was named after a saying in the Classic of Mountains and Rivers, which reads: ‘Tuoxian Rongchang,  Yanyi Yimou(妥先荣昌,燕翼贻谋)’which means being farsighted and making the posterity flourishing.

The Fort Yanyi stands 14.3 meters in height, 41.5 meters in length, and 31.8 meters in width. As thick as 1.45 meters, the solid external wall stands straight into the sky like steep cliffs dotted with numerous gun eyes. It is said that the internal surface of the wall is covered with the a coat made from the flour of sticky rice, egg white and brown sugar that can be eaten when food is scarce caused by a protracted siege. One turret at each of the four corners of the fort is built to expand the defense range and to cover otherwise indefensible points. One can get into the fort through the only entrance; which is reinforced with the outer iron gate, the water gate in the middle and the inner wooden gate. The entire building is up to four stories in height, with each story internally divided into many compartments for food storage, living quarters, ancestral temple, armory etc and connected with porches. The whole fort is well ventilated, sufficiently exposed to sunshine and constructed with a sophisticated sewage system.

Fort Wushi

Situating by the bank of Dongshui River running through Yangcun, the Fort Wushi, also called Fort Panshi, is so named as there is a huge black stone lying before its gate.

It was built during the period of Wanli in Ming Dynasty, dating back to 390 years ago. Front straight and other three sides outwards bent, the Fort Wushi is one of the most unique and precious forts in Hakka architecture. Fort Wushi covers an area of 4,500 square kilometers and stands either 2 or 3 stories, up to 8 meters in height. The straight front is 60 meters long and each of the other three sides runs as long as about 70 meters. Two15 meters high square turrets, one at each end of the straight front, are symmetrical built to enhance the fort’s defense power.

The fort has 3 entrances; with the front gate in the middle of the fort front. At each side of the front gate, there is a stone drum finely engraved with a lions, reminding people that men of some importance used to live in the fort.

After entering the front door, a big courtyard first gets into one’s sight. It is a public place for the Hakka people in it. The courtyard is sided by 6 Siheyuan, each of which consists of 6 compartments. The 36 compartments in total make up a grand square complex that is the core of the whole fort. The complex at the core is surrounded by 62 compartments that run in the shape of a half circle, making up the external building. A “U” form passing way, separating the complex at the core and the external building circle, is designed for passage. The external wall of the circling building is dotted with gun eyes and cannon holes from top to bottom, making up a defense network together with the two turrets of the front.