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Xian Famous Streets


Xian Famous Street – Bar Street of Defu Lane 德福巷酒吧一条街

As in other big cities in China, Xian has a lot of high rise buildings, tea houses, bars and coffee shops in downtown, of which the skyscrapers are in the High-tech and Economic Development Zone located in the southwest of Xian, while bars, pubs and coffee shops are concentrated in a swanky street called Defu Lane.

Defu Lane has been existed since the Qing Dynasty. At that time the street was full of old houses. Because the lane was very narrow and looked so dark, the local had always been calling it Black Tiger Lane. It was said that they felt that the street looked like a torpid black tiger and people who were believed in traditional Chinese geomancy thought that the place was good. Defu Lane has been a name used since 1949. In August 1993, a mass demolition and then a reconstruction project began. It was completed in March 1995. The new Defu Lane has become a cultural tourism street in Xian.

The tourism-oriented Defu Lane is classically elegance. The majestic three-way stone archway, the imitated old houses and the pavement made of large bluestone pieces, are the great ingredients for a beautiful scene of the street. Bars, teahouses and coffee shops in the 200-meter-length street cater the need of upper and middle classes customers in Xian today, and the names of these establishments indicate the westernization of local lifestyle.

Xian Famous Street – Ancient Cultural Street in Shuyuanmen 书院门古文化街

The ancient cultural street is in the east of the South City Gate of Xian. It stretches from the Forest of Stele Museum in the east, to the pagoda of Baoqing Monastery in the west. The total length of the cultural street is 570 meters. The majestic archway is carved the three big Chinese characters Shuyuanmen ("书院门") in brilliant gold color at the entry of the street. Today's Shuyuanmen Cultural Street (书院门古文化街) has been built in combination of the renovation of Xian's old areas, for which the residents have raised funds by themselves, and then the infrastructural department of the municipal government organized the money, designed the project and reconstructed the areas. The whole project has been completed in September 1991. Pieces of bluestone are paved on the street which has many shops with elegant look of posh ancient style. The shops mainly sell kinds of stationery, calligraphy works, ancient paintings and folk handicrafts. At here you will actually feel the serene air and elegant culture. Now Shuyuanmen Cultural Street has about 200 shops and 100 stalls, they all attract lots of tourists at home and abroad to visit.

Guanzhong College had been the highest educational institution in Shaanxi Province during Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was also one of the four great schools in ancient China. Guanzhong College has been built gigantically, with six lecture halls, four large rooms in the south side and six each on the east and west of the architecture. On the back of the lecture halls, a large rockwork is located. It looks like a real and natural hill with tiny trees and green grass. In the front, a pool is having a beautiful pavilion stands in the middle with a pretty stone bridge linked to.

In 1906 Guanzhong College had been changed to Grand Normal School of Shaanxi Province. At that time it was the best school in northwest China. Nowadays it is used as Xian Normal School with its affiliated elementary school.

Xian Famous Street – Luomashi Fashion Street 骡马市服装一条街

Xian Famous Street, Luomashi Street

Luomashi situates on the eastern section of Dongdajie Avenue to the north and Dongmutoushi (东木头市) to the south. Its history traces back to the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). There was a prison and in late of the dynasty Luomashi became a street that residential houses were built. At that time the place was called Erwofang (耳窝坊), and commerce and trade were prosperous. But when the power of the Tang Dynasty had been declining and the China's capital was moved to Luoyang, Erwofang's residential area became expanded, and in 1369 the Ming Dynasty's (1368 – 1644) army captured Xian and they strengthened the fortification of the city. Thus, Xian was being regarded the most important strategic city in northwest China. During the period, doing trade which concerned tea and horse exchange was very popular, for which selling 1.5 million kilograms of tea for buying 30,000 horses. The local businessmen traveled to central, southeast and southwest China to do tea, cloth and mule trades. Since then, Erwofang has been changed to Luomashi, literally "Mule and Horse Town". In late Qing Dynasty, Luomashi has become a big business street in Xian, where trades in foodstuffs, wood materials, chinaware and mules were flourished.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, Luomashi's businessmen have changed their trade to guesthouses, which they consisted of budget rooms. During the big festive seasons like May 1 Labor Day and China's National Day, people from all over China will be flocked in Xian. These cheap guesthouses could properly cater the need of travelers.

Since the implementation of Reform and Opening-up Policy, Luomashi has been orderly occupied by privately owned enterprises. Meanwhile, the households leased their spaces to shop owners, who were mainly engaging fashion business. In 1990, it became a famous fashion street in downtown Xian. Boutiques of different styles can be found here, and in 2007, Luomashi has been renewed to become the first business street for pedestrian only. The total area for business is about 70,000 square meters. Now it consists of shopping mall, ice-skating rink and a top-quality cinema.

More Related Reading:

1. Xian Popular Street
2. Xian Fashion Street


Writer: David from Seeraa International
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