China Unveils A Knockoff Version Of An Entire Austrian Village

china hallstatt austria

Photo: AP Images

China is known for knocking off making copycat versions of iPhones and designer bags, but a new knockoff of an entire village in Austria, which was unveiled this weekend, takes the cake.The replica of Hallstatt, a centuries-old village in Austria, opened in the Chinese province of Guangdong amid some controversy, as natives of the original Hallstatt were not initially made aware that their historic buildings and streets were being ripped off.

It was only revealed last year when a Chinese visitor to Austria’s Hallstatt let word of the project slip, according to the AP.

The “made in China” version of the town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, cost an estimated $940 million to build, according to Reuters. The project was conceived by a Chinese mining tycoon and backed by Minmetals Land Inc.

Some residents of the original Hallstat, a town of around 900, made the journey to Guangdong to attend this weekend’s opening ceremony.

Welcome to China's version of Hallstat, a centuries-old village in Austria.

Here is a diorama of the original Austrian village in China. The original village thrives on tourism; China's version is a high-end residential project.

Chinese visitors explore the replicas of classic European houses.

There are already fish swimming in the ponds of China's Hallstatt.

A worker cleans the walkways of the Chinese knockoff, which opened this weekend.

Visitors in China come to take photos, much as they do in the original Austrian town.

A Chinese worker sprays plants in the newly unveiled village.

Now let's take a look at the original. Hallstatt is located in the Salzkammergut region in upper Austria.

The whole village can be toured on foot in 10 minutes.

It's possible to visit the world's first salt mine located above downtown Hallstatt.

The town has many restaurants and hotels to accommodate its large tourist population. It has only 900 residents but gets around 80,000 visitors a year.

The original Hallstatt occupies a narrow strip of land between the steep mountainsides and a large lake called the Hallstattersee.

The hamlet also gave its name to the early Iron Age Hallstatt culture and is an official UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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