|Prince's Mansion Well, Wangfu Well|
Deep-fried starfish for sale as a seafood at Wangfujing snack street
Wangfujing (Chinese: 王府井; pinyin: Wángfǔjǐng; literally: "Prince's Mansion Well") is one of the most famous shopping streets of Beijing, China, located in Dongcheng District. The majority of the main area is pedestrianised and very popular shopping place for both tourists and residents of the capital. Since the middle of the Ming Dynasty there have been commercial activities in this place. In the Qing Dynasty, ten aristocratic estates and princess residence were built here, soon after when a well full of sweet water was discovered, thereby giving the street its name "Wang Fu" (princely residence), "Jing" (well). Many exotic foods are served on Wangfujing snack street.
It starts from Wangfujing Nankou ("south entrance"), where the Oriental Plaza and the Beijing Hotel are located and the Wangfujing Subway Station north exits. The street then heads north, passing the Wangfujing Xinhua Bookstore, the Beijing Department Store as well as the Beijing Foreign Languages Bookstore before ending at the Sun Dong An Plaza and St. Joseph's Catholic Church.
The street was also previously known as Morrison Street in English, after the Australian journalist George Ernest Morrison. Wangfujing is also one of the traditional downtown areas of Beijing, along with Liulichang.
Until the late 1990s, the street was open to traffic. Modifications in 1999 and 2000 made much of Wangfujing Street pedestrian only (aside from the tour trolley). Now through traffic detours to the east of the street.
The 2011 Chinese pro-democracy protests were planned to take place in Wangfujing. Some violence occurred there between police and foreign journalists.
Wangfujing is now home to around 280 famous Beijing brands, such as Shengxifu hat store, Tongshenghe shoe shop, and the Wuyutai tea house. A photo studio which took formal photos of the first Chinese leadership, the New China Woman and Children Department Store helped established by Soong Ching-ling (Madame Sun Yat-sen) are also located on the street.
Food and snacks
The Wangfujing snack street, located in hutongs just west of the main street, is densely packed with restaurants and street food stalls. The food stalls serves a wide variety of common and exotic street food. More common fare such as chuanr (meat kebabs, commonly made of lamb) and desserts, such as tanghulu or candied fruits on a stick, are among the most popular.
Further north and perpendicular to Wangfujing is Donghuamen Street, which has a night food market of its own.
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