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Pingyao Ming and Qing Street

 
 
         
                         Ming and Qing street in the day                       Ming and Qing street in the night
 
Situated in the center of Pingyao(an ancient town in Shanxi Province), the Ming and Qing Street is one of the main commercial streets there. It is also called "South Street" or "Nan Da Jie” in Mandarin. You know the famous Wall Street in the USA, right? Now, quick question, can you name the “Wall Street of China” during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911)? Yes, you get the answer here. During the mid Qing Dynasty,
this street has been successfully titled” the national financial center “for a time.

As one of the essences of the historical heritage in Pingyao, the Ming and Qing Street, which reflecting splendid culture and civilization of this ancient town, attracts visitors from all the world in an endless stream. Walking along it, the entire Ming and Qing Street will easily remind you of the one in Lijiang( a city in Yunnan Province) from the style and features, but it is longer than that one.

The 750-meter street contains almost 100 quaint architectures with bricks and stones completely in the Ming and Qing style, such as Piaohao(票号,a firm for exchange and transfer of money),Qianzhuang(钱庄, an old-style Chinese private bank), Biaojv(镖局,bodyguard office),pawnshop, herbal medicine shop, meat shop, tobacconist, silks and satins shop , variety shop and so on, nearly including all the business model at that time. Look at those well- preserved traditional shops, I even will have the feeling that I was back into mid 17th century and I even can imagine how prosperous the significant financial center of China is! If you do not stroll around here by yourself, you could not more agree with what UNESCO said about it “Chinese ancient towns condense their history into palace, but Pingyao solve history into vernacular residence.”

In addition, it is a good place for you to buy local specialty and choose souvenirs for your friends or family, for example: small furnishings, lacquerwork, delicious Pingyao beef and vivid paper-cuts. Moreover, the biggest antique market in Shanxi is also located along this narrow street.

The small street made a large number of commerce elites during one hundred and fifty years. You must have ever heard Chang family’s compound, Wang family mansion and Qiao family mansion here, these original residences are belong to the commerce elites. In those years, distinguished Jin-merchants were in the saddle of the business world, moving about freely and quickly, picturing a golden time of Chinese finance. Furthermore, you can find two deep track moulages in granite door sill in each honorable hallway, which proving yesterday’s resplendence----merchants from all the south and north rode carriages which carrying goods and money and left their deep track moulages here.
 
Author: Christina    Posted on April 7,2011
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