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Liulichang Street

liu li chang
Located southwest of Qianmen , the street which is only 750 meters long, within walking distance of the
Hepingmen Quanjude Peking Duck Restaurant.

In Ming and Qing times, Liulichang was a favorite place for scholars, painters and calligraphers that
gathered there to write, compile and purchase books, as well as to paint and compose poetry.

By the Kangxi period (1661-1722), Liulichang had become a flourishing cultural center and was described
as having “homes and buildings lined up like fish scales.” During the Qianlong period (1736-1796), the
street was even more prosperous. When Emperor Qianlong decided to revise the Complete Library of the
Four Branches of Literature, he ordered scholars from the project, and Liulichang became a center for
research in textual criticism.

There one could find “rooms filed to the roof beams with all kinds of books,” “a street filled with treasures
and trinkets,” and the “quintessence of all the markets in the capital concentrated in one street.”

It is lined by shops including Rongbaozhai Studio, Cultural Relics Shop, Yanjiang Calligraphic Work,
Painting Studio and so on.
Zhenyun Building for selling jewelry, Yide Building for selling ink sticks and red ink paste used for seals, Four Treasures of the Study for selling
writing brushes, Jigu Building for Duplicating cultural relics and Cuiwen Building for selling seals.

liu li changThe famous Rongbaozhai Studio, calligraphy and paintings, art and craft objects, writing
brushes, ink sticks, ink slabs and rice paper sold here are mostly famous, high quality and
genuine products.

All the shops have the look of a traditional Qing Dynasty market area having been rebuilt in
the 1980's. With brightly painted doors and eaves and gracefully curved black-tile-roofs
buildings, a little of old Beijing's lifestyle retained here.

Old and new, real and fake, moral and immoral, it was all to be found on Liulichang Street,
it is really a visitor's treat. Those who love antiques or arts and crafts will find it an ideal
place to shop, and those who re not planning on spending money may also find it worth
going to have a look at the street itself.


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