Road, which is in effect the next parallel road to the east when taken from the position of the square. One can get to Zheng Yi Road by leaving the square of Heavenly Peace and heading eastward, either by walking along the south side of East Eternal Peace Avenue (Dong Chang'An Jie) or by taking along the north side of Qianmen East Street. In addition, there is a hidden route leading from the east flank of Mao Zedong Mausoleum through the former West Legations Street to meet with Zheng Yi Road the two Streets intersect.
SOUTHERN ROUTE ALONG QIANMEN EAST STREET:
The southern route effectively starts at the south east corner of the humongous Square of Heavenly Peace. It is impossible to miss the wide Qianmen East Street boulevard so, opt to keep to walking along it's north side and start off in the eastern direction.
When walking pleasantly among trees on the wide north side of main avenue and traffic artery QianMen Dong(=East) Dajie'
This page was last updated: June 29, 2017
The Capital Hotel with its magnificient view of Tianan Men and the Forbidden City is located just East of QianMen and stands overlooking the entire city center.
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History of Zheng Yi Road
Both above mentioned streets as they are seen today were shaped and formed after China's refound independence, declared on October 1st 1949 AD, QianMen Dajie' came into Beijing in the 1950's when Beijing's population expanded greatly and the Old Imperial City Wall was torn down and surrounding moat filled in. Once the Wall and Border between inner Imperial City (DongCheng) and the outlying (but
The South-East Corner of Zheng Yi Lu at QianMen Dong Dajie , just west of and adjacent Capital Hotel grounds. Across Zheng Yi Lu the China Post / EMS Office , roughly on the spot of the Russian Post Office, is visible.
The Brave and Communist Looking street-swiping Girl in Bronze, at the South End of Park-lane Zheng Yi Lu. North and left(=West) to The Beijing Police Museum.
Police Utility Store selling all kinds of Beijing Police Necessities such as Uniforms, Helmets, Batons, entire sirens. Check it out for Fun !
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On the eastern flank of Zheng Yi Lu , a franchise of Golden Elephant Pharmacy chain. This is the Pharmacy nearest the Capital Hotel.
Beijing's Inner Cities' surprising wildlife at Zheng Yi Lu and other Former Foreign Legation Quarter Park Lanes.
Sign designating this Car Parking space as Reserved for Beijing Police & Officers. No Parking or Else ?! The former Legations are currently home to the City Police Headquarters as well as the National Police Ministry. And there are more important buildings !
Zheng Yi Lu in 19Th Century Beijing Today Zheng Yi Road is a pleasant to walk larger Park-Like connecting street between QianMen Dong Dajie' in the South and Main Boulevard Dong Chang 'An (East Eternal Peace) Avenue in the North. It cuts right across the entire Former Legations Area, running from the location of the former City Wall at QianMen Dongdajie' to what is still a main connecting boulevard, (East) Chang An Avenue.
However, the original Zheng Yi Lu, and the Zheng Yi Road of the Legations Era looked remarkably
So, in 1861 AD, when the Legations were founded, and still at the time of the Boxer Siege of summer 1900 AD, this location was protected by a Wall and the green middle section of Zheng Yi Lu functioned as a Canal.
Along Zheng Yi Lu Today
When standing at the intersection of QianMen Dong Dajie' the Former Russian Post Office and beyond the site of the American Embassy are due West on QianMen Dong Dajie'. Interestingly, the current EMS / China Post Office at this spot, roughly marks the location of this former Russian post office.
On the Eastern Corner of this intersection stands a large Hotel Building with distinct historic european feautures. Today this is the Huafeng Hotel, housed inside the former Grand Hotel des Wagon-Lits (Liuguo Fandian). As can be seen on our Map, the building did not exist at the Time of the 1900 AD Boxer Siege, but dates from 1905 AD and so was constructed after the Allied Victory in the Boxer War.
Turn North into Zheng Yi Road, moving along the HuaFeng Hotel, to escape the busy Beijing Traffic now running the length of the former wall of the Ming Dynasty and enter the southern stretches of what was once The Foreign Legation Quarter of Beijing.
As mentioned Zheng Yi Lu is a pleasant park-like Street frequented by elder chinese for an afternoon stroll or a rest while watching birds (mainly Blue Jay).
If you are lucky you will find it a quiet and restive place too. However, the advent of modernity in China and the ever increasing number of private cars now frequently clog up Zheng Yi Road on peak hours, leaving it a disturbing sea of honking cars polluted with blue exhaust. Walk the middle road to get
the best experience and keep some tranquillity of mind.
different as compared to today. As did (Dong) QianMen Dajie' !
Let's have a short review of the changes in this small area of Beijing through time.
To begin with, the original Imperial City had a City Wall dating from the Ming Dynasty Era. This Wall seperated the City District of DongCheng from the commoners dwellings outside the city in Chongwen-
Webstyle produced NavBar
Schematic Map of the 1900 AD Legation Quarter and its defenses. Map includes the location of the former City Wall, Imperial Canal which is now Zheng Yi Road and other Colonial Era details.
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The View of QianMen Dongdajie' in the Western direction towards Tian'An Men Square and the Qianmen Gate Tower. Zheng Yi Road on the right leads northward.
Short Introduction -
Although today only a seemingly inconspicuous tree shaded street in the extreme south west corner of the Dongcheng District, branching from QianMen East Street in the South or East Eternal Peace Avenue one block to the North, Zheng Yi Lu, as part of the Former Legation Quarter of Beijing, is another historic street in this Ancient City.
Located just about half a mile east of the world famous Tian'An Men Square (Square of Heavenly Peace), which is without a doubt the center of tourist activity in Beijing, Zheng Yi Lu is easy to reach by foot from either the Square of Heavenly Peace, the Gate of Heavenly Peace or the popular Wanfujing Shopping Street. Bot the Zheng Yi Road and the wider "Legations Quarter" can make for a more quiet get away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping streets and the gargantuan but rather soul less square.
and Xuanwu Districts (Read More in Historic Introduction to the City of Beijing). This City Wall, now removed, lead Eastwards from QianMen, through ChongwenMen and the current Ming Dynasty City Wall Relics Park, turns the corner northward at the Red Gate (DongBianMen), then wraps around the City Center. So, in short QianMen Dongdajie' was formerly the length of City Wall looming over the Legations Area. A small road lead east- and west- underneath the wall from QianMen.
An elderly Beijing Citizen, one of the Many frequenting the park for a stroll and some leisure Time.
walled) trading districts of Xuanwu and Chongwen, wide QianMen Dajie' has filled the space of what was once City Wall and Moat, much improving access and traffic to the Inner City. Sadly this meant destroying the Glory of the Ming EraCity Walls. To find remnants of the Wall, take a walk along QianMen DongDajie' to ChongWenMen. ChongwenMen, once the site of a City Gate, is now a busy intersection and the western end of Ming Dynasty Era City Walls Park
Following Zheng Yi Road to the North there are no more historic relics to be found untill the intersection of Zheng Yi Lu and the (former) Legations Street, now known as JiaoMin Alley(=Xiang). Browse in the Police Stores located here, get medicines at the Golden Elephant Pharmacy or just keep to the center green and move up towards the intersection marked by the Minsheng
Bank, a clearly european styled colonial structure. The Minsheng Bank is housed inside the Building of the (former) Japanese Yokohama Specie Bank, an instrument of Japanese Imperialism. Find out more about the Legations by clicking through to Page 2: Zheng Yi Lu's section North of Minsheng Bank and Legations Street, or go West on West Legations Street or East on East Legations Street and find several remnants of the old Legations between the intersection of Zheng Yi Lu and the square of Heavenly Peace on the other end of the long street. Among things, this is the location of the former American Bank, the former United States Embassy and the former Dutch Embassy.
Since long, this backwater street is also where the so called Petitions Office is located. The Petitions Office is the last resort of the destitude from everywhere in the Peoples Republic of China who come to Beijing to have their last chance at some sort of Justice by petitioning directly to the Government and its Highest Court.
A long line can usually found at the small petitions office, carefully eyed and watched by a number of Police Officers.
Beware to pay too much attention, the petitioners are desperate people. Recently they have staged mass protest, and mass suicide attempts have occured twice in 2013. If anything serious goes down and one is caught taking photo's trouble is likely to ensue.
Modern Stores along Zheng Yi Lu and a view of the Minsheng Bank, formerly the Yokohama Specie Bank Branch in the Legations of Beijing.
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For those staying at the HuaFeng Hotel, or at the Capital Hotel or Dongxiaomin Xiang Hotel around the corner, there is a last note-worthy thing to mention about this southern stretch of Zheng Yi Road. It is the location of one of the branches of suncome massage, a good and trusted operator in Beijing.
The suncome massage parlors are places where on can get good and thorough Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM) massages, practiced by blind people !
If you are in need of a good massage, but -as would most- would like to avoid five star hotel prices while still getting the real experience, suncome is a time honored and worthy address.
Escape your Hotel and have your muscles looked after by a person with a true feel for things !
Naturally, if you are just weary of all the hiking in Beijing and your feet are hurting from all the sightseeing, its a good rest spot too !
The Little branch of suncome blind massages at Zheng Yi Lu South Section with its simulation traditional exterior and red lanterns to guide the way at night. Suncome is a China Report recommended masseur !
Business Card of Sun Come Massage Zheng Yi Road for easy contact !
A Schematic Map of the Old City of Beijing in the Ching Dynasty -stuation as until Summer of 1900 AD.
This Map includes Beijing Ming Dynasty City Walls surrounding Doncheng District and XiCheng District and enclosing the Imperial City.
Further: The Ching Dynasty City Wall additions surroung The Xuanwu District and Chongwen District.
Last: Locations of (Former) City Gates, ancient Names of Gates and the Location of the City Moat and its Connection to the Grand Canal of the Ming Dynasty.
Secondly, in the Past, when the City Wall was still standing, Zheng Yi Lu was not so much a road, but a Canal. The Zheng Yi Lu Canal, alongside which were roads, lead North from the Water-Gate, which was a tunnel-hole underneath
Zheng Yi Road - How to get There:
In order to find the Zheng Yi Road one needs relatively little understanding of the larger city of Beijing or even the Central City although a glance at the map previous to embarking always helps keep a feeling of security and comfort. On top of this there are no complicated instructions for riding the subway / metro system either.
SUBWAY / METRO SYSTEM:
As a location in central Beijing just a few hundred meters west off the Square of Heavenly Peace the Zheng Yi Road is easily reachable. For anyonee coming in from the outer districts or even suburbs, the nearest subway stations are; Tiananmen Dong Station in the north and the Qianmen Station on the southern end of the quare of Heavenly Peace.
Although on the map these stations seem to be quite near Zheng Yi Road, in reality the city of Beijing was built on a huge scale intended to impress. Therefor, walking distance is still some five minutes or about half a mile.
View of the southern entrance from the wide Qianmen East Boulevard into the former Canal Street, now Zheng Yi Lu. The then renowned and popular Colonial Era Hotel Des Wagons Lits still stands today and is in use as the HuaFeng Hotel. On the adjacent grounds, formerly the German Legation, now stands the Capital Hotel.
The site of several of the main Legations of the Colonial Era in Beijing (1860 AD - 1930's), notably the British Legation and the Japanese Legation, in the final decades of the 19th and mainly the first half of the 20th century (roughly) ZhengYi Lu was known as the Canal Street. It was so named in reference to the water canal that fed water from the Imperial Palace through the "Legations" down to the wide moat surrounding the City and its mighty Ming Dynasty Era city walls. Thus, among things due to its rich greenery and the positive vibes from its flowing waters, at the time it was not only one of the main throughfares of the Legations, arguably, it was also the most scenic street in this exclusive section of the Imperial City.
Although the city around it has changed remarkably since, especially over the last decade, not too many alterations have taken place along the length of Zheng Yi Road recently. Visitors may still stroll about the Road to find the clearly distinguishable historic remains of the Colonial past, among them the main Western Gate of the former Japanese Legation, today heavily guarded by armed soldiers 24 hours a day, the former Japanese Bank, and perhaps most interestingly, the barely visible outline of a now (partially?) restored former building, the historically renowned "Hanlin Acadeny". Although the latter building was lost through fire in the 1900 AD Boxer War, its invaluable treasures and library burnt to a crisp, today the building - or at least part of it - has re-appeared standing hidden behind the walls and protective layers of the Ministry of Public Security a.k.a. the National Internal Spy Agency.
As legendary as the Academy is, it is most worthwhile to try and have a peek at it, regardless of the intimidating security around the only and only gate through which it can be seen by the ordinary public today.
Altogether, the Legations are one of the must see sections of the Inner City of Beijing, especially for those with a special interest in the Colonial Era and Republican times in the history of the by now gargantuan ancient Imperial Capital. When bored with the ancient Palace, or the seemingly endless mill of people circling the square, easily get away from the Main Traffic Arteries of today and seek the comfort of a walk into the history of the former Legations. Just hike eastwards off the square and enter the former Legations Quarter at any point to make your way about. In practice it is nearly impossible not to find the Zheng Yi Road as it cuts right across the rectangular Legations Quarter.
When coming down Qianmen East street from the opposite side, from the East, Zheng Yi Lu is the first road after passing the Capital Hotel Tower at QianMen Dongdajie No. 3.
The Zheng yi Road is easily recognised by the lush green zone running in between of its two traffic directions. This green zone ofcourse represents the space formerly taken up by the Canal that brought down the waste waters from the Palace's "Golden River Stream".
Eternal Peace Avenue. After passing the well guarded and fenced off Ministry of Public Security, a modern styled but white marbled cubic building surrounded by a large green zone and a sturdy looking high green fence, the next intersection is the one with Zheng Yi Road.
Via this route one walks to the northern end of Zheng Yi Road, following the former Canal down from the point where it passed from the Imperial City underneath the road into the Legations Quarter proper.
MIDDLE WAY APPROACH TO ZHENG YI ROAD:
Find Mao Zedong Memorial Mausoleum on the Square of Heavenly Peace and leave the square through the road crossing on its eastern flank. On the opposite side, just south of the giant National Museum lie two side alley's. Take the second and most southern one, which is the west entrance into Dongjiaomin Alley, the former West Legations Street. Walk down the street to get to Zheng Yi Road. Along the route stand the former American Embassy and the former Dutch Embassy, as well as the rather inconspicuous Petition Office of the (National) Supreme Peoples Court.
Much has changed here since the days of the Legations, which formally ended in 1949 AD with the"liberation of China" (from foreign powers and KuoMinTang fascist-militairy dictatorship) and the declaration of The Peoples Republic of China, by Mao Zedong. Follow the path of these photo-report pages and learn about the history of the Foreign Legation Quarter, learn about the main changes to this very part of the old Imperial City and last but not least - discover todays remnants of the Old Legations in detail, browse its streets and take in the athmosphere of this former Elite and controversial part of Imperial Beijing. Some of its splendor still remains and there are plenty to of sights to see and discover within the surrounding area.
Very accurate and up to date Map of Beijing City Center , complete area of the Palace Museum (Forbidden City), Square of Heavenly Peace, Beihai (North Lake) Park, the South and Middle Lakes (Zhongnanhai) and area's of surrounding districts of Xicheng, Dongcheng, Chongwen and Xuanwu. Map detail includes names of alley's (Hutong) and even side alley's.
Map of The Beijing Legations Quarter in 1916 AD
Schematic Map of the 1916 AD Beijing Legation Quarter, between 1861 AD - and 1919 AD home of the Colonial Embassies in Beijing,
Map depicts the Former Legations Quarter including details of the Southern City Walls and Beijing's First Railway Station (QianMen) as well as the smaller TiananMen Square of 1916 AD. Further on this Map the Location of ALL Legations of Various European and other Colonial Nations plus Todays remaining remnants and sights of the Beijing (Former) Legation Quarter.
Short Summary of Streets in the Legations Quarter with their historic relevance is included !
Read More in the 11 Page Report on the Legations Quarter of Today.