Qianmen Street, after one-year-long reconstruction, has been reopened in 2009, and it has reproduced the old Beijing’s look and feel.
Qianmen Street has history of more than 570 years. It was called Zhengyangmen Street during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, and finally named Qianmen Street in 1965.
With its latticework of horizontal alleys, the north-south Qianmen Street prospered as a commercial strip as early as Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368). By the time of Emperor Jiajing, the 12th Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) emperor, the street was dotted with guild halls built by different localities, to provide housing to citizens intending to take the imperial exams.
Qianmen Street became even more prosperous in the early years of Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) with the development of activities such as lantern fairs, theaters and teahouses. Places like the Guanghe Theater — today threatened with demolition– and the Quanjude roast duck restaurant are part of Beijing’s history.
Dashilan is a business street with more than 580 years of history in the Qianmen area. Regarded as the “essence of Beijing” it depicts a vivid and prosperous picture of old Beijing. After reconstruction, this 1.26-km area will retain many buildings and their antique flavor
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