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Qianmen Street

Qianmen Street

Written by Candice SongUpdated Oct. 22, 2021

Characteristic: Dashilan shopping street is the oldest and most famous ancient shopping street with unique culture.


The origin of Dashilan shopping street can be dated back to the period of Emperor Xiaozong of Ming Dynasty. At that time, Beijing government forbade every business activities at night to avoid thieves and brigands. Approved by the government, people built numerous wood fences in front of street and lanes. According to the historical records, 440 fences outside city were built during Emperor Yongzheng and 1919 fences inside city and 196 fences inside the Forbidden City were approved during the 18th year of Emperor Qianlong. Dashilan was known as LangfangSitiao. As it was famous for the fences, people named it Dashilan.

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Brief Introduction

Qianmen Street

Dashilan is located at the center place of ancient Beijing city, which is an important component part of south middle axis. It is in the south of Tian’anmen Square and west of Qianmen Street. Dashilan is 275 meters long from east to west. Dashilan is a narrow street with numerous shops on both sides, which attracts lots of tourists every day. In the area of 1.26 square kilometers around the Dashilan shopping street, many ancient Beijing buildings are best preserved.

Dashihan has a history of more than 580 years, there dwells around 30 famous shops with over 100 years history such as Beijing Tong Rentang which sells Chinese medicine, Nei Liansheng which sells shoes, Rui Fuxiang which sells silk and Liu Biju which sells pickles etc. It has always been the leading traditional shopping center. Besides, there are also other famous shops like Zhang Yiyuan which sells teas and Ma Juyuan which sells hats on the street.

Tong Rentang Chinese Medicine Store was opened in 1696 and it was known for the self-made medicines. Ma Juyuan Hat store was operated on 1811, the hats and shoes they make were specialized for royal families and the nobility. As time went by, Ma Juyuan began to focus on making national caps. Rui Fuxiang Silk Store was opened on 1893, mainly selling silk and leather products. Nei Liansheng Shoe Shop was run on 1853, mainly providing shoes for the royal families.

Besides, Dashilan area is also the leading birthplace of Beijing opera and Xuannan Culture. The combination of royal culture and folk culture makes Dashilan a place with profound cultural foundation and dignified history atmosphere. “Wear Ma Juyuan’s hat, dress Rui Fuxiang’s clothes and wear Nei Liansheng’s shoes used to be the symbol of traditional Beijing business. In addition, Dashilan was also one of the famous entertainment centers in Beijing. In history, there were five grand opera towers: Qingle Tower, Sanqing Tower, Guangde Tower, Guanghe Tower and Tongle Tower. The first cinema in Beijing—Daguan Hall was also located here.

Location: Dashilan shopping street was from Qianmen Street to Meishi Street.

Transportation: Tourists can take Bus No.20, 59, 110, 120, 742, 803, 826 and 859 to get off at Dashilan station. Tourists can also take Subway Line 2 and get off at Qianmen Station.

Nearby Tourist Spot: China National Grand Theatre

Also read top 10 shopping areas in Beijing.

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