Wednesday, May 16, 2012

China - Beijing - Suzhou Street

Suzhou Street, The Summer Palace, Beijing

Sent by Jiani, a postcrosser from Shanghai, China.

"Over 60 stores extend from North Palace Gate entrance into a street about 300 meters (328.1 yards) in length. Along the Back Lake, the street design imitates the ancient style of shops on the banks of rivers in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, that is, taking the running water of Back Lake as the street and its banks as a market. The area served as an entertainment place where Emperors and concubines could feel as if they were strolling on a commercial street. When the royals went there, eunuchs and maids of honor would playact as peddlers, customers and shop assistants to mimic market activities.
Built during the reign of Qianlong (1711-1799), it was burned down by Anglo-French allied force in 1860. Until 1986, it was rebuilt and in 1990 it was opened to the public. Today's market includes stores such as dyers, souvenir shops, drugstores, banks, shoe stores, teashops, and hockshops, with clerks dressed in Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) costumes."(Source)

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