Duolun Road - Shanghai's Cultural, Literary Melting Pot
Duolun Road, previously known as Darroch Road after a British missionary, is a tiny part of Shanghai that will transport you to a bygone era when Chinese literati and social elites were fashionable and making waves in the country's fabric in their many ways! This is a pedestrian street today and was home to many famous writers, artists, poets, social workers, and more through the 1900s. The likes of Ding Ling, Rou Shi, Mao Dun, and many others lived in different parts of this street and area.
What It Is
This street, known to have been built in 1911, has gone through several renovations and structural additions, and has remained a low profile, quaint piece of history - worth a visit if you are in the city. The fact that this is not tourist-ridden lends to its charm and the street makes for a lovely and leisurely afternoon walk.
Sprinkled with life size bronze statues of the eminent writers along the cobbled street with both sides lined with antique shops (where you are allowed to take photos!), museums, and tea shops, there is a lot you can find here if you are looking for souvenirs. The shops comprise of Burmese businessmen selling Jade, antique shops that sell some real treasures from old China at competitive prices, tea houses that make for a relaxing break and even a Paulaner bar if you are feeling like having a quick meal and beers.
Hong De Tang Church
This church is a grand structure on this street. Being a rare architectural structure, maybe the only one of its kind in the city, this attracts lots of attention from passers-by. The Christian church is built with Chinese architectural styles. If you are lucky, you may catch a wedding shoot underway here.
There is a League of Leftist Writers Museum, established in 1930 as a political meeting house, and remains preserved for visitors today. There is a relatively newer addition here called the Shanghai Duolun Museum of Modern Art that stands proud towards one end of the street. Pop in for a view at the latest exhibition and to check out the pretty terrace.
The buildings along this street are old, and mostly belong to the shikumen style, that is a sub-section of lilong architectural style - very unique to Shanghai's older homes. One can spot hints from Islamic and Jewish architecture too. A lovely amalgamation of building styles.
How to get there
Taxi: Duolun Road, across Sichuan North Road 多伦路，跨越四川北路
Metro: Line 3, Dongbaoxing Road; exit 1; come out of station, turn left, walk for 10-15 minutes and you will reach Duolun Road
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