What if you could visit the entire Europe in one country? China has mastered the art of ‘duplitecture’, also known as duplicate architecture. The country has replicated different cities and architectural wonders from all around the world, and the results have been something out of a dream. While duplitecture is opposed by some, it is seen as a skill of mastery in China. After all, Plato did say that all artistic creation is a form of initiation. However, unfortunately these copycat towns are empty or occupied by a very few residents, no matter how breathtaking they are. Below are some mesmerizing Chinese Recreations of popular European cities and towns.
The sky city is a luxurious real estate modeled after French architectural style. It is located in Tianducheng in the region of Hangzhou. The town consists of a perfect replica of the Eiffel Tower, fountains, and landscapes of Paris. It was opened in 2007 and can accommodate more than 10,000 residents, but is only resided by less than 2000 people currently.
Part of China’s “One City, Nine Towns” initiative, the Thames Town was built from scratch and was opened in 2006. The town itself is named after the river Thames or Isis that flows through London. Thames Town recognizes and replicates the vast history of British architectural styles and consists of buildings from different eras, and is a close copy of the standard English town. It is located in the Songjiang District which is 25 miles away from Shanghai. The entire construction of Thames town had a budget of about $635m.
Holland Village is a replica of the Netherlands. It was also a part of the “One City, Nine Towns” project. It is built in the Pudong District. The village is built on typical Dutch style architecture. It includes mills, bridges, restaurants and cafes. A full size replica of the Amsterdam store De Bijenkorf stands as the center of attention. More duplicates of Amsterdam’s architecture stand here, such as a copycat Amsterdam Centraal.
Holland Village was initially built to accommodate 20,000 homes, but now it is mostly abandoned. There are only a few shops and restaurants that still run. It is mostly visited by tourists or by people for photoshoots.
Located in the city of Dalian, Venice Town is the copycat of the famous Venice of Italy. The Venice town consists of a hand dug canal which was constructed in the Venetian architectural style. It also features 200 Venetian modeled bridges and buildings. Venice town, too, is abandoned, but a marvelously replicated ghost town.
Hallstatt, The Austrian Village Town
The Hallstatt or the Austrian Village town is the most perfect copycat city to ever exist. Built with a budget of $1billion in 2011, the construction of the entire village still continues and has already received wide attention from all over the world. The Hallstatt of China has even cloned the parish church and town square of the original Hallstatt. The Hallstatt of China is located in the district of Huizhou.
Interlaken of China
The Interlaken of China, the recreation of Interlaken of Switzerland was opened in 2007 and it is located in the district of Shenzhen in the Guangdong Province. It’s just one river across from Hong Kong. The Interlaken clone consists of various styles such as Tirol, Engadin and from Schwarz Wald regions. The copycat town also has Swiss, Chinese and Bernese flags.
Luodian is Shanghai’s Swedish town. This town was also a part of “One city, Nine Towns”. Luodian was registered with a population of over 49,700 in 2008. The central feature of the town is the artificial lake, Meilan, which was modeled after Sweden’s Lake Mälaren. It was built in 2004. The town is still incomplete.
These were some stunning examples of duplitecture, the Chinese recreations of European cities and towns – some specific and some generic. Which one of these copycat towns would you love to live in? Tell us in the comments below!
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