Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Foreign Legation Quarter

East of Tiananmen Square is the former Foreign Legation Quarter. Although many of the buildings were destroyed in the Boxer Rebellion of 1900 and others have been converted for state use, a visit here may envoke something of the history of European interaction with China in the 19th century.

Among the surviving sights is the Catholic St. Michael's Church on the corner of Taijichang Toutiao and Dongjiaomin Xiang, the buildings of the Belgian Embassy opposite the twin-spired church and a former French post-office at 19 Dongjiaomin Xiang. The arched gate of the entrance to the former Japanese legation still stands on Zhengyi Lu near the British Legation, which is now part of State Security buildings. The Huafeng Hotel, south on Zhengyi Lu, is now a run-of-the mill business hotel but occupies the former site of the Grand Hotel des Wagon-Lits and dates back to 1905.

Access: Chongwenmen, Qianmen, Wangfujing subway stations

Hostels in China