Research and other investigations by Matthew Niederhauser out of Beijing, China.

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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13 Responses

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  9. Nahin Choudhury

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

    August 6, 2013 at 1:11 am

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  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

    August 12, 2013 at 3:49 am

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