Jiuzhai Valley Architecture Tours – Jiuzhaigou, Sichuan Province, Aba, China
Jiuzhai Valley Architecture
About this place
Jiuzhaigou ( Jiuzhaigou Valley ) is named after the nine Tibetan villages with in the national park boundaries, like the hundreds of other villages in the region the local people's houses are traditionally made of wood, which is to be expected for somewhere that has been surrounded with thick forests for thousands of years.
The best example of traditional architecture within the park can be seen in the abandoned Guodu VIllage in Zharu Valley. Traditionally, houses had three floors. The ground floor housed livestock. This was one way of keeping homes warm during the cold winters, as the animals' body heat would radiate up through the floorboards. The first floor was the family's living quarters and the top floor which was usually open at the gable ends was for drying crops, storing grain, animal feed and farm tools.
When Jiuzhai Valley was officially classified as a nature reserve in the 1980s all agriculture and animal husbandry was banned in the park and today the locals make a living from tourism. There is no longer a need to build houses in the traditional fashion and most are now built with a combination of bricks and wood. The brightly painted exteriors of the homes are a modern addition to local villages and are a sign of increased prosperity.
Traditionally only monasteries would be able to afford such elaborate painting . Now all homes will be painted to some degree ( inside or outside of both) with particular attention beging paid to the home alter which is an important feature of each home.
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