Beijing reopens historic shopping street

August 7th, 2008 - 3:17 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 7 (Xinhua) The Olympic host city Thursday reopened one of its oldest commercial areas as a tourist attraction. The Qianmen Street underwent massive refurbishment last year and along with the Great Wall and Tian’anmen Square, is one of the “must-see” places in China.

The area displays Beijing’s historic and cultural heritage to visitors from all over the world, which is also in line with the Olympic spirit to encourage cultural exchange and mutual understanding, said Wang Chengguo, spokesperson of Beijing’s Chongwen District where the street is located.

Qianmen Street lies on Beijing’s historic central axis just south of the Tian’anmen Square and the Forbidden City, the imperial palace from the mid-Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to the end of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The commercial street took shape about 570 years ago and became popular in the 1920s and 1930s, garlanded with restaurants, theatres, silk stores and teahouses. It was still a famous shopping area before the refurbishment, despite its rundown condition.

The street was closed for the face-lifting project in May 2007, with old buildings demolished and the road newly paved.

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