Since the liberation of China in 1949 there is no more legation quarter in Beijing.
In the days before the European powers forced their way into the Chinese empire, the only representatives of foreign states allowed in Peking were those from Burma, Annam (Indo-China), Korea and Mongolia, living in the 'Four Barbarians' Hostel' in what later became the Legation Quarter . The Russians obtained the right to open a church in Peking in 1727 and were given a plot of land just opposite these vassal embassies. In 1860, after the second Opium War, Britain and France forced the Chinese to allow them to open their own legations nearby, and other Western powers, and later Japan, followed suit.
This page was last updated on: June 20, 2015
Welcome to China Report's Introduction to our 11 Page Digital Walk Through of the former Foreign Legation Quarter of Beijing .
Later the Beiyang republican administration in the beginning of the last century.
Covering some 3 acres and including 11 foreign embassies, the entire Legation Quarter was considered foreign sovereign ground and was off limits for Chinese citizens who were not allowed to take up residency within the legation grounds. Each Embassy had its own small security detail but no Garrison/ The Beijing Legation Quarter was the area in Beijing where a number of foreign legations were located between 1861 AD when the 2nd Opium War was lost by China and the Legations imposed and 1959 AD, when the last Legation was
A list of all Historic Maps of the Beijing Imperial Capital City, including a satellite image clearly delineating Ancient Imperial City Borders , 4 main old city Districts and many Landmarks.
Dongjiaomin Catholic Church
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Beijing Police Museum
Police Uniforms Explained
Police Cars & Vehicles
The Beijing Police Museum is the Proud Showcase of the Cities Police Force and Beijing's Public Security Bureau. Located on west JiaoMin Alley, the former Legation Street, the Police Museum stands amidst the tree rich historic lanes that were once the heart of the western enclave of Beijing. This report gives an Impression of what to expect at this interesting museum on Beijing Police, the security bureau and more. In addition we updated this report with photos and explanations on Beijing Police Uniforms and Vehicles.
Rue Hart (former)
Not a main street of DongCheng or the former Legation Quarter, Rue Hart is an inconspicious survivor of China's turbulent history. Today there are only old walls and hints of history left. Find the street sign, for long the only english language street sign in Beijing, a remnant from earlier days and the western sovereign enclave in Beijing. Try and identify the 3 former Legations Compounds ! With the advent of modernity in Beijing Rue Hart is slowly but surely forgotten. Or is it ?
Leadership of the Organization the Defense of The Legation Quarter fell to Senior British Administrator Sir Claude Maxwell MacDonald (1852-1915 AD), who was the Head of the British (Imperial) Foreign Service and British Foreign Minister in Beijing. His British Legation was located on what is today the North Section of Zheng Yi Lu (=Road).
I Ho Chuan - the Society of the righteous and harmonious fists, dubbed "Boxers" for their martial arts and other traditional fighting techniques were ... With their initial stronghold in mountainous areas of the economically run-down Shantung Peninsula that was also partially occupied by Germany (KaiChou Peninsula) and British WeiHeiWei, the anti-foreign-christian initially anti-Ching Rebellion rapidly spread around the already antagonised country. Within months the Rebellion spread to Shansi Province where they found a Manchu Governor (Yu Hsien) friendly to their anti-christian cause. Many missionaries and chinese converts were slaughtered starting a stream of refugees into the many treaty ports on China's coast. In June the Manchurian Governor, joining the anti-foreign movement attacked Russian territory over the Amur River,
Ambassadors and Foreign Ministers of the 8 Allied Nations with Treaty Ports and Legations in China and Beijing simply refused to abandon their Legation Quarter, nor dared to evacuate their women & children. Instead they asked for reinforcements from the TaiKu Forts Garrisons and no less than all 17 Foreign Gun Boats at the Harbor of TaiKu Bay. As foreigners from all over North-China and the City fled the tumultous labyrinth of city streets, the Legation Quarter almost tripled in inhabitants, pooring over with anxious Foreigners. Before long the foreign reenforcements started their attack on the Forts at Tianjin, with the international naval brigade landing ashore and taking TaiKu Fortress.
The Foreign Legation Quarter was a separate section of the Inner Imperial Capital, just North and inside the City Walls, in the Southern-DongCheng District east of QianMen. Covering some 3 acres and including 11 foreign embassies, the entire Legation Quarter was considered foreign sovereign ground, was off limits for Chinese Citizens who were not allowed to take up residency within the legation grounds. In the beginning from 1860 AD to 1900 AD, each Embassy had its own small security detail but no Garrison.
17 June, Empress-Dowager Cixi officially asks all Foreigners to leave Beijing. This is an open rejection of foreign influence and almost a declaration of war.
Schematic overview Map of the Area's of North-East China overtaken by the Yi Ho Tuan Movement (The "Boxers").
Full Map and Description under Construction !
Schematic Map of the 1900 AD Legation Quarter and it's defenses.
Februari 1901 - Leaders of Boxer Rebellion punished, Shansi Governor Yu Hsien executed.
17 September 1901 - Foreign Forces withdraw from Beijing.
7 Januari 1902, Imperial Family, Empress-Dowager Cixi and Emperor return to Beijing and Court.
resulting in an eager invasion by Russians interested in Manchurian mineral wealth. There-after the lid was off the highly volatile chinese political situation and a full war ensued. Next Peking was attacked by Boxers and the Grand Canal and railway communications with the Foreign Garrissons (and Gun Boats) at TsienTsin (TianJin) harbor were severed, leaving the westerners in Beijing stranded at their Legation Quarter. And that was just the beginning. Three days later Beijing (horse) race-course, a hated foreign establishment and symbol of Foreign Privilige was utterly destroyed by Boxers who then started their invasion of the Inner City.
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Satellite Image Map of Chongwen District and the southern-most part of DongCheng District, clearly showing the extend of West- and East-Legations Street and the Legation Quarter of Beijing.
On November 6Th 1865 AD, Robert Hart, then a 30-year-old Inspector General (I.G.) of the Imperial Maritime Customs Service and thus a Briton in Chinese Government Service, presented to his supervisors in the Zongli Yamen, the Qing Empire's new foreign office, a long memorandum critiquing Chinese administrative practices and offering suggestions for improvement. He criticized corruption and inefficiency at all levels of government, called for tax reform, urged for greater specialization and better technical education of officials, of improving contacts with the outside world, and promoting foreign methods and technology. The memorandum, written in Chinese, was entitled the 'Bystander's View' (juwai pangguan lun). A few months later it was submitted by the Zongli Yamen to the throne, and
together with a similar tract by British diplomat Thomas Wade, distributed to senior Qing officials for comment. It had little impact at the time. But forty years later, when the Empress Dowager Cixi reportedly told the author that she wished she had followed his advice, it became a foundation stone of the mythology of Robert Hart, a symbol of the failure of the Qing court to take full advantage of the Portadown native's wisdom.
Today Rue Hart, now TaiJiChang Toutiao reminds of Robert Hart at the Legations Quarter of Beijing.
The Roman Catholic Cathedral, the London and American missions, and the Maritime Customs burned the night of June 17th.
Zheng Yi Lu (Former Canal Street)
Marking the path of the former Imperial Canal inside the Ming Dynasty Era city walls of the Old Capital City, zheng yi road extends between the former Watergate and the old main thoroughfare of Chang An - Eternal peace Avenue, now a world famous boulevard. Take a walk from south to north along Zheng Yi Road and start your discovery tour of the former Legations Quarter of Beijing and its historic relics and remnants.
Located just South of Oriental Plaza East flank on DongDan Bei Dajie' Dongdan Park is the inconspicuous smallest park in the City of Beijing.
Home of some Revolutionary History and part of the Former Legations Quarter, Dongdan Park has little to offer but exercise, green and leisure Time. That is untill night time when apperently it turns into a gay meeting point. Read about the most controversial little park in Beijing.
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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.
On the 20Th of June 1900 AD the German Minister Graf Von WaldenSee, who had only recently been appointed Allied Commander in Chief in the Besieged Legations Area, was shot to death by Boxers on Legations Street in Beijing. Earlier on 11Th June the Japanese Ambassador was also killed in a violent incident. By 22nd of June all foreigners are holed up inside the Legation Quarter, not daring to move while Boxers are setting fire to the wester edge of the Legation Quarter. Part of the Library of Imperial Scholarship (HanLin Yuan) and the western section of the legations are destroyed (after the rebellion this area would become a polo field).
TianJin taken in July, August 4 1900, huge allied force setting off from TianJin to relief Beijing's Legation Quarter. 15 August - Empress-Dowager and Guanxu flee Beijing (to Xian).Beijing looted by private Foreigners and the 8 Allied European Nation Army. 30 September, Russia occupies Shenyang (Mukden) taking over almost all of Manchuria (withdrawal 18Th April 1902).
A Schematic Map of the Old City of Beijing in the Qing 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.
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.
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This page was last updated on: June 20, 2015
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