Cultural Express—Shaanxi Ten Wonders

This time,we will come to the 2nd Wonder of all the ten.

I do not have an architect’s eyes,so I never really noticed this one until being told by others and the information online.Most of the traditional houses here are built half.


“The ballad is the following: the country houses are built half to save time and materials. This house can be against wind, rain and cold which is warm in winter and cool in summer with good luck.

There are a lot of houses built half in the countries of Shaanxi. However, it is wrong that you consider it as ‘a weak project’. In fact, it is the unique living style of Shaanxi people, which is connected close with the customs and practices in Shaanxi.

As Shaanxi locates in the inland, its climate is the typical continental dry climate. Therefore, it is droughty in Guanzhong (the middle area of Shaanxi) with a lot sand blown by sand. In addition, there is short of wood. Because of that, people invented the house built half according to the local conditions. Surely, it is using the local material to build this kind of house.. people make use of the local loess and ready-made mud to make earthen bricks 40cm high, 50cm long, 10cm thick, which is used to build wall after it is aired or fired if the condition is good. Shaanxi people name it ‘pasting and thatching’ which is sounded like ‘huqi’(a Chinese word ‘胡砌’).However, this kind of house not only saves much timber and many bricks but also the manual work.however, the hail-side house saving work and material isn’t built in a rough way. On the contrary, every house contains a lot of painstaking effort and sweat of the host. What’s more, they are the shelters of their offspring.

In my childhood, I lived in the house built half at all times. As the floor space was dwindled, the capability of keeping warm and breathability are relatively good which is much warmer in winter and cooler in summer compared with the large house with tile roof. Therefore, the economical and applied half-side house becomes the preferred one of Shaanxi people.

Now the house built half has already been the past. The local have lived in the buildings with the improvement of the life conditions. Whenever I come back home, the half-side houses will take me to the past.

Even though staying here for 6 years,few of the rare chances to visit rural area have really shown up.The half-built houses never came to my sight which has been fully covered by towering skyscrapers.If I have got one chance,I might want to see these houses with my own eyes instead of on the pic.

(source from


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