|Inside of the Yanyi Enclosed House at Yangcun township in Longnan county, Jiangxi province. (China Daily)|
Enclosed houses, which are mini-fortresses built in southern Jiangxi province, are architectural treasures that are invaluable to historians studying the lives of the Hakka people. Zhang Zixuan reports.
Dubbed the "Ancient Roman Castles of the Orient", more than 600 enclosed houses in southern Jiangxi province still stand today, testament to the history of the Hakka people, who migrated here from Central China and built these mini-fortresses to defend themselves against local outlaws.
First built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and improved on in the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the enclosed houses are boxed in and well protected by triangular fence walls.
The Hakka enclosed houses are spread among several counties in Jiangxi's Ganzhou. There are 376 enclosed houses scattered in Longnan county, which feature the most diverse range of shapes.