Today we visited the Nantou Ancient Village in Shenzhen. People tend to think of Shenzhen as just a modern city because 30 years ago it was just a fishing village, not a known city. But…people did live there, and there is history to be learned! Shenzhen grew up rapidly around the villages. Unfortunately, these old villages continue to be torn down to make room for high rises. Nantou is one old town that some effort has been made to preserve. The preserved South Gate dates back to 1394, when it was built as part of the wall around the town. It is a place where you can see the contrast of old and new. One feature I enjoy of old (and reproduction) Chinese architecture is the eaves tiles, called wadang. Their purpose was to protect the wooden rafters by blocking the rain and wind as well as being decorative. The first ones known date back to about 1000BC. The close-up picture is from the old bank building and the other shows the old Government offices. You can see the roofs with eaves tiles in the center and on both sides.