Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek

China's Replicas of European Architecture: A Photo Tour

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    Matthew Niederhauser started photographing Chinese replicas of European towns in 2010. “I’ve visited dozens of these counterfeit paradises across the country,” he says. “They are all bound up in what it means to live in ‘modern’ and ‘harmonious’ urban environments, key words for officials all over China. Developers are trying to construct ‘civilized’ living environments but have crossed over into the uncanny.” Niederhauser is based in Beijing.

    Pictured, on the outskirts of Hangzhou, copies of Parisian townhouses, complete with Eiffel Tower.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    A supersize clog in Holland Town, a Dutch-themed development on the outskirts of Shanghai.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    A windmill in Holland Town.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Broad Town, the corporate campus of Broad Air Conditioning in Changsha, includes a replica of one of the pyramids of Giza, surrounded by model homes showcasing central air conditioning systems.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Broad Air Conditioning’s corporate training center borrows details from Buckingham Palace and Versailles, and includes a statue of Deng Xiaoping.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    In Huizhou, a slice of Hallstatt, a Unesco World Heritage site in Austria.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    On the outskirts of Tianjin, Dynasty Wine is headquartered in Château Dynasty, modeled (with the exception of the tribute to the Louvre’s glass pyramid) after Château de Montaigne, home of 16th century philosopher Michel de Montaigne.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    A replica of St. Peter’s Square near Beijing on the grounds of Château Zhang Laffitte, a knockoff of Château de Maisons-Laffitte.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Florentia Village is a 15-acre Italian-style outlet mall situated between Beijing and Tianjin. Its interpretation of Rome’s Colosseum contains a fountain.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek
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    Workers drain canals used for gondola rides to make repairs at Florentia Village.

    Photograph by Matthew Niederhauser for Bloomberg Businessweek