Monday, 25th February 2008 by Rob
North of the Chinese city of Hangzhou, a brand new housing development is taking shape in an unusual style. At least unusual for China anyway, as Tianducheng is designed to look like Paris, France! There are currently just 2000 residents living in the development, but its eventual capacity will be around 100,000.
Hoping to bring the ‘European Lifestyle’ to China’s growing number of wealthy residents, the 31 km2 development features several reproductions of famous Parisian landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. At 108 metres, Tianducheng’s Eiffel Tower is the second largest replica of the Eiffel Tower in the world1 – roughly one third the height of its Parisian namesake.
The development has large landscaped gardens containing several ornate fountains, and from the few photographs of the development available online it would seem likely that in the next thumbnail you can see the Bassin de Latone, which is a copy of the one in the Palace of Versailles’ garden.
As we have seen, there are replicas of specific landmarks here, although much of the design seems to be an amalgam of Parisian architectual styles, so it’s really interesting to compare the two. This video shows just how much work has gone into Tianducheng, and Reuters has a great photo slideshow.
Finally, it should be pointed out that Tianducheng is not the only such European-style development – in Shanghai they’re also building Thames Town (only partial high-resolution), which is modelled on a typical English town, and apparently Italian and German versions are planned elsewhere too!
Thanks to GEforumprofr at the Google Earth Community.