Tianducheng: The Heavenly Paris of China

The underused and rugged green space surrounding the fake Eiffel Tower in Tianducheng is now utilized by local laborers for small garden plots

As new cities continue to spring up across China almost overnight, real estate developers are taking architecture and urban design in wildly different directions to tap into the lucrative luxury housing market. Tianducheng/天都城 was one of those hopelessly trying to set a bold new precedent for modern and cultured living with it’s fake Eiffel Tower overlooking Parisian townhouses. The knockoff of the 13th arrondissement, however, remains sparsely populated and only draws well-heeled clientele to its adjacent resort and villas modeled after Fontainebleau Palace. For now, many of the apartments are occupied by groups of migrant laborers working on surrounding megablocks, while other locals have gone so far as to appropriate the green space surrounding the Eiffel Tower for private ad hoc farming plots. Otherwise Tianducheng along with the attached French-themed village park is mainly used as a backdrop for wedding photography companies hoping to give young Chinese couples a taste of The City of Light while balancing their desire for traditional nuptial observances.

A young Chinese couple poses for wedding photographs on a hilltop in the French-themed village park overlooking Tianducheng

A Chinese groom hoists his bride into the air on a small beach overlooking the Tianducheng International Holiday Hotel which is modeled after the Fontainebleau PalaceOverlooking Tianducheng and the French-themed village parkA young Chinese couple poses in front of a horse and carriage in the French-themed village park attached to Tianducheng

Young Chinese couples are filmed posing within a gazebo adorned with flowers

A young Chinese couple poses on the banks of Swan Lake across from a villa development next to the Tianducheng International Holiday Hotel

The fake Eiffel Tower lights up the night in TianduchengYoung Chinese couples line up beneath a fake tree to film a champagne toast for their wedding ceremoniesSmall garden plots and Parisan-style townhouses surround the fake Eiffel Tower in Tianducheng

A young Chinese couple is filmed kissing on a boat swing next to an advertisement for wedding photographyA mixture of western and eastern traditions are incorporated for the filmed wedding ceremoniesA young Chinese couple is filmed walking through a gazebo

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    1. We need to stop treating views on immigration as an IQ test – there are sensible ways to attract tourists from China – Telegraph Blogs

      [...] to flock to France in large numbers, partly because the Chinese have a great interest in France (they even built a replica Paris) and partly because, well, it’s France. But the Home Secretary’s first job is to protect the [...]

      Aug 16, 2012 @ 7:04 pm


    2. We need to stop treating views on immigration as an IQ test – there are … | NHS News

      [...] to flock to France in large numbers, partly because the Chinese have a great interest in France (they even built a replica Paris). But the Home Secretary’s first job is to protect the home front, and she must balance the [...]

      Aug 17, 2012 @ 12:19 pm


    3. Why We Shouldn’t Mock the Idea of an Eiffel Tower in Hangzhou | Hangzhou Weekly

      [...] monuments form only part of the illusion. Tianducheng, a miniature Paris near Hangzhou, has an Eiffel Tower over 300 feet high, and a replica of a fountain from the [...]

      Jan 18, 2013 @ 11:12 am


    4. China's Copy Towns | The World of Chinese

      [...] seems to be suffering from the Thames Town problem as well. Matthew Niederhauser observed that many of the knockoff of Parisian townhouses “are occupied by groups of migrant [...]

      May 22, 2013 @ 7:41 am


    5. Lažni Pariz na Kitajskem in nova finančna kriza | Renton

      [...] Eifflov stolp, se sprehodite po pariških ulicah in doživite francosko prestolnico na Kitajskem (več fotografij tukaj). Manjkajo le ljudje. Ta Pariz je mesto duhov. In ni osamljen [...]

      Jun 03, 2013 @ 12:33 pm


    6. En Chine, Paris est une ville fantôme

      [...] le blog de Matthew Niederhausser, “beaucoup d’appartements sont occupés par des groupes de travailleurs migrants qui [...]

      Jul 30, 2013 @ 10:40 am


    7. In Cina , Parigi é una città fantasma | Come viaggiare informati

      [...] Secondo il blog di Matteo Niederhausser “, molti appartamenti sono occupati da gruppi di lavoratori emigranti che lavorano negli edifici, mentre altri sono andati così lontano che si sono appropriati delgi spazi verdi intorno alla Torre Eiffel per farne  terreni agricoli. “ [...]

      Aug 03, 2013 @ 10:45 pm


    8. A Parisian Ghost Town Set In The Middle Of China [Video] - PSFK

      [...] Images via Matthew Niederhauser [...]

      Aug 05, 2013 @ 3:50 pm


    9. Nahin Choudhury

      If this helps the Chinese stay in China…I’m all for it.

      Aug 06, 2013 @ 1:11 am


    10. Een deprimerende kopie van Parijs | Mixed Grill

      [...] essentiële dat ontbreekt zijn mensen. Het was de bedoeling dat deze kopie van Parijs met de naam Tianducheng een luxe woonwijk voor rijke Chinezen zou worden, maar nog geen kwart van de huizen heeft een [...]

      Aug 09, 2013 @ 9:34 am


    11. Ronald Parée

      As unreal as the copies in Las Vegas.

      But all of this is human.

      IKEA, McDonald, Burger King, KFC, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, Apple, Samsung, Louis Vutton, La Coste, etc. are also step-by-step incorporated in every society, in every continent.

      It shows that whatever your mother tongue, the color of your skin or your religion is,the end of the day your habits, your needs and your expectations are the same.

      Bizarre that global the local politicians still try to make us believe we are unique and therefore superior to those with that different mother tongue, color of skin and religion next door.

      The marketing boys and girls know better…..

      © Ronald Parée 2010

      Aug 12, 2013 @ 3:49 am


    12. Tianducheng: Una replica di Parigi in Cina, abbandonata | Lega Nerd

      […] Tianducheng: The Heavenly Paris of China (matthewniederhauser.com) […]

      Sep 10, 2013 @ 5:16 pm


    13. China bouwt replica van Parijs | Travelpost

      […] De replica van Eiffeltoren bij nacht Bron: matthewniederhauser.com […]

      Nov 20, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

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