Saturday, 25 October 2014

Qingdao 2014 : Weihai Garden

Weihai Garden: A Showcase for Fishermen's Life and Seaweed Houses

The moment they enter into the Weihai Garden, visitors can see a seaweed house that only exists in fairy tales. On the caesious walls built of primal bricks and stones stands a thick and towering saddle ridge made of yellow mud where two fluffy sloped roofs covered by fishing net meet. Seeing such a distinct seaweed house, visitors who have been tired of serried high-rise buildings and flashing neon lights can feel a fresh charm as if they were in a Utopia.

To showcase the treasures of the Chinese architectural art, the former Ministry of Post and Telecommunications of China launched a series of stamps themed traditional folk houses with local characteristics between the end of the 1980s and early 1990s. These stamps prove to be bestsellers. It is worth mentioning that the seaweed house was chosen by ingenious designers to represent the Shandong folk houses.

Walking in the costal fishing villages of Jiaodong, visitors can see seaweed houses scattered all over. These houses built of stone walls and seaweed roofs take on a simple and unsophisticated appearance with distinctive regional features.

According to relevant researches, the seaweed houses originated from the Neolithic Age, took on a fixed form in the Qin and Han Dynasties, became popular during Song and Jin Dynasties, and flourished during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. Having such merits as the capacity to ensure comfortable living even in cold winters and hot summers and long life span, this type of buildings has survived the lapse of time, becoming the "living fossil" of Chinese folk houses and the "specimen" of Chinese architecture.

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