Huaihai Road or Huaihai Lu (Chinese: 淮海路; pinyin: Huáihǎi Lù; Shanghainese: Wahae Lu) is one of the two most famous shopping streets in Shanghai, China; the other is Nanjing Road. Compared with the more touristy Nanjing Road, Huaihai Road is more upscale, and is the preferred destination of local residents. Huaihai Road comprises three sections, the main section being Middle Huaihai Road in the former French Concession of Shanghai. Middle Huaihai Road is also well known by its former French name Avenue Joffre (Chinese: 霞飞路).
Today's Huaihai Road comprises three sections, which were formerly three distinct streets. West Huaihai Road, formerly called Jordan Road, is 1,510 meters (4,950 ft) long and forms part of the boundary between Changning District and Xuhui District. East Huaihai Road, formerly Ningbo Road, is 373 meters (1,224 ft) long and was the boundary road between Huangpu and Nanshi districts before the two districts merged. Middle Huaihai Road, the main section, is 5,500 meters (18,000 ft) long. Most of this section lies in the former Luwan District (which was also merged into Huangpu in 2010), and extends west into Xuhui and Changning districts.
Middle Huaihai Road was built in 1901 as Rue Sikiang (Chinese: 西江路). Five years later it was renamed Route Paul Brunat (Chinese: 宝昌路). It was renamed again in 1915 to Avenue Joffre to honor the French general Joseph Joffre, who visited Shanghai and attended an official renaming ceremony in 1922. In the 1920s Avenue Joffre became an enclave of a large community of Russians fleeing the Communist revolution in their homeland.
The Japanese occupied Shanghai during World War II, taking over the foreign concessions in 1941. In 1943 Avenue Joffre was renamed Taishan Road (Chinese: 泰山路) after Mount Taishan. The name only lasted two years, and after Japan was defeated the Kuomintang government renamed the street Lin Sen Road in honor of Lin Sen, the former President of the Republic of China who had died in 1943. However, the Communists in turn defeated the Kuomintang in the Chinese Civil War, and took over Shanghai in 1949. A year later the Communist government gave the street the current name, to commemorate its victorious Huaihai Campaign.
The 5,500-meter (3.4 mi) long Middle Huaihai Road has a large number of shops lining its route, from small boutiques to major department stores and shopping malls, as well as hotels and restaurants. Major buildings include Lippo Plaza, Shui On Plaza, Central Plaza, Shanghai Square, Shanghai Times Square, Hong Kong Plaza, and K11, most hosting shopping malls or department stores on the lower floors with offices on top.
The eastern section of Middle Huaihai Road near the popular Xintiandi precinct has recently seen an influx of a large number of Western luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, and Ermenegildo Zegna. Many of the stores were opened in 2010 to coincide with the Shanghai Expo.
A section of Line 1 of the Shanghai Metro runs underneath Middle Huaihai Road with three stations: Changshu Road (interchange with Line 7), South Shaanxi Road, and South Huangpi Road, all named after streets that intersect with Huaihai Road. East Huaihai Road is served by the Dashijie Station on Metro Line 8.
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