Name:Dazhalan ("Dashilanr") / Dashila Jie (street) / Refurbished hutong area, Xuanwu District, Beijing (Capital City & Municipality), P.R.China.
Known as "Dashilanr" in Beijing local dialect, Dazhalan is Beijing's most ancient and famous downtown business area with its own unique style. Beginning at Qianmen Street in the east, and stretching to Meishi Street in the west, the area covers nearly 300 meters in length. Many shops and stores line along both sides of the narrow street. When the crowds of people move back and forth in the street, the whole area takes on the scene of bustling bazaar. In the old days, Dazhalan was hailed as "the most bustling place in the capital". Throughout its history of more than 500 years, Dazhalan, situated in the heart of ancient Beijing, has been a prosperous business area. Within an area of 1.26 square kilometers exist lots of old but well-preserved buildings, which are an important cultural heritage of Beijing, the ancient capital. Dazhalan dates back to 1488 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when a curfew was imposed on the whole city of Beijing. In order to keep away thieves, many fence rails were set up at entrances to streets and lanes under the Imperial Court's approval. The number of such rails increased during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), reaching more than 2,000 by the eighteenth year of Emperor Qianlong's Reign (1753). The area was originally known as "Langfang Sitiao", but was changed to "Dazhalan" (meaning 'great fence') due to the specially made and well-preserved fence rails. Home to over 30 century-old firms and stores (such as Tongrentang, Neiliansheng, Ruifuxiang, and Liubiju), Dazhalan has long been the main traditional business center in Beijing. Apart from the many commercial venues, there were also plenty of entertainment venues. In the early Qing Dynasty, as entertainment places were not allowed in the inner city, most playhouses (theaters) were located around Qianmen, including five famous playhouses (Qingleyuan, Sanqingyuan, Guangdelou, Guangheyuan, and Tongleyuan) and the first cinema in Beijing - Daguanlou Cinema, which opened at the beginning o
P.R.CHINA Beijing Pekin Peking Hutong 29th Olympic Games 2008 Dazhalan Dashilanr Dashila Jie Xuanwu District Tourist Shopping Street Qianmen Asia construction workers mingongs mingong
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Jean-Jacques Serol / Pepite Photography