Lianfang Tower (Huaqiao Weiwu) is a folk dwelling which perfectly combines the traditional Hakka architecture with western buildings. It is located in Baigong Town, Meizhou City - a famous hometown of overseas Chinese. This building was built by overseas Chinese in the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and finished in 1934.
Covering an area of about 0.3 hectare (0.74 acre), it is about 100 meters (328 feet) long and 40 to 50 meters (131 to 164 feet) wide. The 15-meter (49 feet) high structure above the front door took the shape of a bell tower, and the whole architecture looks like a magnificent castle. The outer wall of Lianfang Tower was designed to be the western style and the building is characterized by vivid and beautiful embossments of tigers, leopards and deer. The two-story brick structure has a main gate and two side doors; all of the gates, windows and walls were engraved with exquisite carvings of animals, flowers and plants.
Lianfang Tower can be reputed as the most luxurious Weiwu, and to a certain degree, it is more like a museum of Chinese and western folk art. The imposing tower consists of over 100 rooms, which are perfectly constructed according to the structure of Weiwu, or "Round House". Weiwu, a traditional besieged tower, is a kind of vernacular dwelling of the Hakkas inhabited by the whole clan. The Weiwu of Meizhou City is considered as one of the five most distinctive folk dwelling houses of China along with Beijing"s Courtyard and Shaanxi"s Cave Dwellings. Weiwu is always constructed into a square or a circular form, resembling a castle which surrounds the main residential buildings. Seen from a lower place, the Weiwu arose in folds, looking like a gigantic dragon entwining in hillside. Therefore, Weiwu is also called "Round Dragon House". The Weiwu of Meizhou City is highly artistic with unique design, delicate constructions and fine decorations and paintings.
Lianfang Tower serves as an elaborate work of architecture in the 1930s since the interior decorations are of high artistic workmanship. The various grand pillars, staircase and the corners of each room are painted with flowers, birds, dragons and phoenixes, and the gilt windows are all richly carved. The halls are separated from each other by well-engraved Chinese screens. The spacious balcony in the center of the construction commands a fine view of the Lianfang Tower and the Baigong Town.