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 Essential Architecture-  Peking

Liulichang Culture Street




in the southwestern part of Beijing / Peking, China




Qing Dynasty


wood, stone


Outdoor space
Liulichang Culture Street
Liulichang was reconstructed in 1984 and it adapted a China Dynasty architectural style. It is located on the southern side of Shinhwa Street, where there are many antique stores, bookstores, furniture stores and even handicraft and porcelain stores. Each store specializes in one item only. It used to be a place where used products were sold and where merchants gathered. After the Emperor Kangxi Qing Dynasty, it became a market for antiques, calligraphy products and paintings. People could buy art supplies at a very low price or they could see stores where their pictures were mounted. Liulichang has been loved by literary men for over 200 years, and many foreigners who love the Chinese culture visit this place. There is much construction going on at Liulichang Street.
Just like the Ming and Qing Streets in Pingyao, the Shuyuanmen Street in Xian, Liulichang, located in the southwestern part of the city, is the best place to explore Traditional Chinese Culture. When you take a promenade among the rows of Traditional Buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, you may feel dazzled by the various Artistic Wares. These include, Antiques, Furniture, Ancient Coins, Chinese Paintings, Jade Ware, Lacquer Ware and Traditional Folk Clothes, among other interesting finds.

One, of many Stores, is the Beijing Antique Store. Here you may find wonderful Antiques and Handi-Crafts as Souvenier Gifts for your friends and family. Be careful how you choose if you are not very skillful at bargaining. Show your appreciation of them but do not offer a price unless you really want to buy them. If you want to Purchase Antiques, please visit our Points for Attention for some practical tips.

Opening Hours: Whole day

Liulichang culture street

Old and new, real and fake, moral and immoral, it was all to be found on Liulichang Street, it is really a visitor's treat.

Located in the southwestern part of the city, Liulichang is one of two streets which still bear the appearance of a Qing Dynasty market street ( the other is Suzhou Street in the Summer Palace mainly for show purposes).

In the 1980s, the street was renovated and various specialized shops were rebuilt. With brightly painted doors and eaves and gracefully curved black-tile-roofs buildings, a little of old Beijing's lifestyle retained here.

The China Bookstore, Rongbaozhai, and Jiguge are the most famous antique stores in Liulichang. The China Bookstore located at the back of a courtyard of the first complex on the north, sells second-hand foreign language books.

A used bookstore in China, particularly that has foreign language offerings was once a rare thing, but this one also has a curious organizational style. All the foreign-language material is mixed together.

English-language works stand spine-to spine with Russian and German works. Literature shares shelf space with psychology and history.

Some of the books are stamped with university library and church seals. Antiques like this, worth a fair amount anywhere, go for no small sum in Liulichang. Good deals may be found among the Chinese books, however. If you are patient and know what you want.

Those who love antiques or arts and crafts will find it an ideal place to shop, and those who re not planning on spending money may also find it worth going to have a look at the street itself.

Along the street, peddlers hawk snacks, groceries, toys and copper coins, all kind of small commodities. Merchants race to their doors with a welcoming "hello, hello" for all their customers, but they all rack their brains to attract foreigners' attention.

Some offer free seal-carving services and they even can find a perfect Chinese name for you if you like. Some shop owners invite folk artists to their shops such as an 80-year-old heir to the Qing Dynasty's royal embroidery tradition.

It is amazing to watch this elderly man embroider a pair of little shoes for a pair of tiny feet.