Conservation Heritage Disasters China

Ming and Qing architecture faces ruin after flooding

Ancient Chinese town of Fenghuang hit as severe storms batter the region

Buildings stand under water in Fenghuang after severe storms in the region. Photo: Reuters

The ancient Chinese town of Fenghuang is partially submerged under water after severe storms battered the region and forced more than 50,000 people out of their homes. The remote city in the Hunan province is home to distinctive Ming and Qing architecture. It was added to the Unesco World Heritage Tentative List in 2008. Fenghuang is also the hometown of the 90-year-old painter Huang Yongyu, who had a retrospective at the National Museum of China last summer.

Since the storms began earlier this week, electricity has been cut and more than 1,000 rescue workers have arrived on the scene. The Tuojiang River, which snakes through the mountainous town, has reached 1.1 metres above its highest previously recorded level, Chinese media reports.

The city is home to the Ming dynasty’s southern Great Wall as well as 20 ancient streets and more than 200 ancient residences. During peak tourist season, it attracts up to 30,000 visitors per day, according to the Telegraph newspaper.

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30 Jul 14
22:25 CET


Heartbreaking to read that this irreplaceable heritage site with its distinctive architecture and links to two great dynasties is gone forever.

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