Introducing the Liulichang Street
Liulichang Culture Street is known throughout China and the world for its ancient books, calligraphy, paintings, rubbings, ink stones and ink. With a series of traditional Chinese stone houses, it is one of Beijing’s traditional old quarters. It is about 800 meters long from Yanshou Street in the east to Nanbeiliu Lane in the west. In the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368), an official kiln for making glazed titles was established here. Later during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the kiln was expanded and became one of the five largest plants under the Ministry of Industry. From then on, it started to be called Liulichang (Glazed Tile Plant).
During the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the Manchu and Han people used to live separately in Beijing. Residences of officials from the Han ethnic group, as well as many provincial guildhalls, were built nearby Liulichang. Candidates for the Imperial Examination and officials from other parts of China often gathered here, making Liulichang “a place for literati in Beijing”. Then business on books, stationary, antiques, paintings, and calligraphic works flourished. In the early 1980s, Liulichang Cultural Street was renovated by the Beijing Municipal Government. At present, the east and west Liulichang streets are lined by shops with an architectural style of the late Qing Dynasty. There are many time-honored stores, such as the Rongbaozhai Studio (famous for stationeries), the Huaiyin Shanfang Store (famous for antiques), the Jiguge Store (famous for ancient books) and the Ancient Book Shop. Also, there are some famous painters and calligraphers doing their works in several stores for visitors. In recent years, the Liulichang Temple fair has been resumed, which was held from the first to the fifteenth day of every first lunar month in the old days.