The Watch

Tuanshan Historical Village

Yunnan Province, China

2006 World Monuments Watch

A rare surviving example of a traditional walled Yunnan village compound in southwestern China, Tuanshan was founded as a mining center in the late fourteenth century. Most of its well-preserved residences, gateways, temples, ancestral halls, and walls date from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when the village prospered from trade with southeast Asia, made possible by the Yunnan-Vietnam railroad. Although Tuanshan survived the tumult of the Cultural Revolution due to its political connections to the Communist Party, the city is now threatened by uncontrolled redevelopment as a tourism destination and invasive conservation and repair schemes that have done much to damage the existing historic fabric. Last update: December 2010

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