Qilou Arcade Streets in Haikou, China’s Hainan


Arcade architecture, with its origins dating back around 2,000 years to ancient Greece, was introduced to Haikou by overseas Chinese merchants from 1820-1840. Standing between two and four stories in height, a Qilou has its ground floor set back halfway into the building so that it can be used as a storefront to take shelter from rain and sunlight. The upper floors serve as the living quarters, and extend over the pavement supported by columns. The exquisite carvings and decorations on the handrails, door frames and window frames are in the Baroque style.