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
This page was last updated: November 20, 2012
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
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 !
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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.
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 !
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-
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.
The Suzy Guides
WALK BEIJING BY GUIDE !!
The Book by Fellow Travelers & Explorers Annie Coburn (USA), Zhu XiaoJian (China) and Lorin Bruckner.
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The View of QianMen Dongdajie' in the Western direction towards Tian'An Men Square. Zheng Yi on the right leads northward.
Short Introduction -
Although only an inconspicuous tree shaded street branching from QianMen Dongdajie in the South or Chang An 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 East of the worldfamous Tian'An Men Square, the center of tourist activity in Beijing, Zheng Yi Lu is the site of several of the main Legations of the Colonial Era. Get away from the Main Traffic Arteries of today and walk into the history of the former Legations.
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.
However, the original Zheng Yi Lu, and the Zheng Yi Road of the Legations Era looked remarkably
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
Border between inner Imperial City (DongCheng) and the outlying (but
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 !
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 untill 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
How to get There - When walking pleasantly among trees on the wide north side of main avenue and traffic artery QianMen Dong(=East) Dajie' one comes across Zheng Yi Lu (Lu=Road)