Chinese Architecture- Guangzhou (Canton)

Zhenhai Tower


Zhu Liangzi


Guangzhou, China


built in 1380, reconstructed 1928


Ming Dynasty


stone, wood


Zhenhai Tower was built at the start of the Ming dynasty in 1380 by Zhu Liangzi, a powerful member of the provincial nobility, to demonstrate his power to "shake the seas and the mountains". The tower was later incorporated into Guangzhou's city wall, becoming the northernmost watchtower. Now it stands alone in Yuexiu Park north of downtown Guangzhou, the city walls having been long since removed. The tower was rebuilt 1928 to house the Guangzhou City Museum. The tower is built in the Ming style, of course, and is painted red. The grounds around the tower hold some of the cannons used by the British during the Opium Wars when they seized the strategic high ground on which the tower stands. It also has two stone lions that were carved during the Ming dynasty and guard the entrance.


All images copyright 2001 Professor Kerk L. Phillips of Brigham Young University, Utah, USA.
Visit his webpage at 

Boyd, Andrew. Chinese Architecture and Town Planning: 1500 B.C. - A.D. 1911
Holmesdale Press Ltd., London. 1962


With special thanks to