Liulichang

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Liulichang
Beijing hutong 2005-3.JPG

Liulichang (simplified Chinese: 琉璃厂; traditional Chinese: 琉璃廠; pinyin: Liúlíchǎng) is a district in downtown Beijing that is known for a series of traditional Chinese stone dwellings housing selling various craftwork, artistry, and antiques. It is one of Beijing's traditional old quarters.

History[edit]

An example of a building at Liulichang

The name Liulichang dates back to the Ming dynasty, when a renowned coloured glaze factory called "Liulichang" was in production on this street, which made glazed tiles for the palaces, temples and residences of the officials.[1]

According to local legend, during the Ming and Qing dynasties, Liulichang was a favourite haunt for scholars, painters and calligraphers who gathered there to write, compile and purchase books, as well as to paint and compose poetry. By the Kangxi era (1661-1722) of the Qing dynasty, Liulichang had become one of the most flourishing cultural centres in all of Beijing.[2]

Renovations[edit]

Large scale renovations in modern time have transformed this place into an antique market that resembles a Chinese village. The many shops located on the street are filled with a variety of Chinese folk arts such paintings, calligraphy, pottery, carpets, vases, books, scrolls and chops.

Today the street is a mixture of state-run and privately owned shops and customers are recommended by shopowners to bargain before making purchases. There are also traditional teahouses and wineshops, as well as many restaurants.[3]

It is a popular destination for tourists who wish to experience the commercial aspect of popular Chinese folk artwork in Beijing without the bustling traffic.

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°53′42.87″N 116°23′10.92″E / 39.8952417°N 116.3863667°E / 39.8952417; 116.3863667