Guardians of the Past: The Diaolou of Guangdong

Known as Diaolou, these multi-storied defensive structures were built by returning sojourners anxious to protect the wealth they earned abroad from the predations of local bandits and greedy officials. Constructed of stone, brick, concrete, and other materials, the Diaolou incorporated elements of both Cantonese and foreign architectural influence in a reflection of the cosmopolitan nature of the region.