One of the most popular Unesco Heritage sites in Austria is a little place known as Hallstatt village. However, you don’t have to travel to Austria to see how beautiful it is since there’s now an exact replica of it in China. The Chinese version of the picturesque community sites in the city of Huizhou, which is located in the southern area of the country in Guangdong province.
The replica cost Huizhou a grand total of $940 million to build and it opened its doors to the public not too long ago. However, there has been some controversy building over the Chinese clone. The village in Austria sits next to a lovely lake and is one of that nation’s most-visited destinations by local residents and tourists.
The Chinese version of Hallstatt has exact re-creations of the village’s quaint wooden houses, church clock tower, and many other buildings. Rebuilding the village in China was the idea of one of the nation’s richest mining tycoons. When it was announced what he planned on doing, some residents of the Austrian community weren’t too thrilled about it while others were simply surprised.
However, they might change their tune if they get a chance to explore Hallstatt village in China. The village can be found about an hour’s drive from Huizhou, and quite close to the Pearl River Delta. The village comes with a main plaza, which is inspired by the marketplace in the Austrian village. Many local residents say they love the place since it makes them feel they’re actually in Europe instead of China because all of the buildings are constructed in a wonderful European style. The Chinese version is about three million square feet in size and it could also be expanded in the near future.
Also, the local authorities and residents of Hallstatt, Austria aren’t as upset about their village being copied anymore. In fact, they feel it might even help them out as more tourists may want to visit their village, especially those from China. Alexander Scheutz, who is the mayor of Hallstatt, Austria, said there wasn’t really that much controversy, but the villagers were more surprised at the replica. He said they’re now proud that their community has been recreated halfway across the world for other people to enjoy. The mayor and other delegates from Austria even flew to China to help officially open the Chinese tourist site.
Many other Austrian officials said they now feel the same way about the replica. They said they’re very proud and lucky to have been chosen for this amazing cultural cross sharing venture. The Austrian village is definitely reaping the rewards of its Chinese cousin. It was reported that only about 50 visitors from China visited the Austrian village back in 2005 and these days thousands of them are making the trip every year.
However, there are still a few residents in Austria who feel their village is unique because of its traditions and culture. Some of them feel that it simply can’t be copied. However, the best way to decide for yourself is to visit both of these quaint communities.