Popular Posts

Editor'S Choice - 2020

China or the art of copying cities: from Cadaqués to Paris

Fake cities: such are the Chinese replicas of Paris, Amsterdam or London

What is the "true" ...? © @francoisprost / www.francoisprost.com

It is no longer necessary to go to Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. Nor to Egypt to contemplate a sphinx. Nor to Cadaqués to enjoy this Empordà enclave. For some years, you can visit all these places without leaving ...China! We knew that nobody beat them by copying brands, but do you want to see what they have done with entire cities? Guess which one is the original and which one is the copy ...


This town of Ampurdán has its twin in China. In this case, it is a holiday complex of 800,000 square meters called Kadakaisi and located in the southeast of the country. Its origin dates back to 2010, when a company delegation China Merchants Group He went to this town to take notes and build a replica. The story caught the filmmaker's attention Lluís Galter, who made a documentary, The substance.


One of the most surprising cases is that of Tianducheng, a suburb of the city of Hanghzou that has an Eiffel Tower 108 meters high. It also has its Arc de Triomphe, dozens of replicas of buildings and sculptures, and even a Versailles inspired park. A few months ago, the photographer Francois Prost He toured the two cities inch by inch looking for similarities and published this incredible series of snapshots under the name of 'Paris Syndrome'.

Of course, in the Chinese version of Paris, and despite having the capacity to accommodate 10,000 people, barely 2,000 live. Who does attract are the couples of just Married They are looking to make their wedding album in this copy less kilometers away.

Which one do you like the most? © @francoisprost / www.francoisprost.com


This small town in Austria was declared World Heritage in 1997 by Unesco and, of course, in China they also wanted an equal one with its streets, plaza and buildings. It is located in the province of Boluo, about 100 kilometers from Shenzhen.

And although among the Austrians there is a diversity of opinions about this oriental version, the mayor of the city already said in 2012 that he thought it an opportunity to encourage tourism in the Hallstatt originatesHe even went to the opening of the copy. A copy, by the way, whose manufacturing cost around 1 billion dollars.


In the case of Shanghai, what was done was a plan to decentralize the city and create new urban centers. For this, nine new cores were designed that would be built following the patterns of different cities in Holland, Italy, Germany, England, Spain… As in the case of Paris, these villas did not generate the attractiveness expected among the population, and most remain half empty.

Luodian: Dutch, but in China © Getty Images


In Suzhou what they have is an identical bridge to the Tower Bridge in London. Of course, while the British has more than 100 years of history (it was built in 1894), the copy was finished only a few years ago, in 2012.

The town, two hours from Shanghai, is full of rivers and canals, and is therefore known as "The Venice of the East". And the one in London is not the only one copied; there are up 56 replicas of bridges around the world, among them the Sydney Harbor Brigde or the Alexander III bridge in Paris.

The young Tower Bridge in Suzhou © Getty Images


Not only do the copies go from buildings, but the Chinese have also dared to an almost life-size replica of the Great Sphinx of Giza. A construction 60 meters long and 20 meters high on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang that has earned them different clashes with the egyptian government and that soon I could open a new dispute.

The controversy dates back to 2014, when a film producer built this replica arguing that it was for a movie and that it would later be destroyed. Far from being so, he remained in time until Egypt complained to the UN and China chose to tear it down. A few months ago, however, the controversial sphinx reappeared


Another controversial replica is that of Terracotta warriors. Yes, yes, we have them in duplicate within China. The copy is in the province of Anhui, about a thousand kilometers southeast of Xian and in it you can see thousands of warriors on a real scale and at a slightly lower price of the original, which is 2,200 years old. The government has denounced This replica and we are waiting to know what measures you will take.

The replicas of the Xian Warriors in Anhui © Getty Images


What a surprise - and not exactly good - took Anish Kapoor when he learned that in Karamay they had built a suspiciously similar sculpture to the Cloud Gate he made for Chicago. The original was erected between 2004 and 2006, is inspired by liquid mercury and is popularly known as “The bean"By its form. In the Chinese cas, it was built in 2013 on the site where it was found Karamay's first oil well

But all this is just a small sample of this parallel world in China. We also found a Roman Colosseum in Macau, a copy of the Moais of Easter Island in the financial district of Beijing, a replica of the Tower of Pisa in Shaghai, a Florence in Tianjin and even a hotel suspiciously similar to Neuschwanstein Castle in front of Xinghai Bay.

Karamay Cloud Gate © Getty Images

Leave Your Comment