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2014-04-21 16:31:41


Dongjiaominxiang, over 3,000 meters long, is the longest hutong in Beijing. [Beijing.cn]

Extending from East Tian'anmen Square Road in the west to Chongwenmennei Avenue in the east, Dongjiaominxiang, over 3,000 meters long, is the longest hutong in Beijing and was called Beijing's "Embassy Row" in the early 20th century.

The architecture along this alley presents a different style to most hutong. Since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it has been used to receive foreign ambassadors. After the Second Opium War (1856-60), ministers from Britain, France and the United States came to live in the houses that had belonged to princes and rich families.

Later, many other countries, including Japan, Germany and the Netherlands, chose Dongjiaomin for their embassies. At the beginning of the 20th century more foreign buildings in Western styles were built, such as the HSBC Bank and the French post office and hospital.

Following the founding of the people's republic in 1949, the embassies moved to Sanlitun.

Many buildings were demolished in the development of the city from 1980. However, the alley is now protected by the Beijing municipal government as a historic legacy. Bank buildings, the French hospital and a Gothic Catholic cathedral built in 1901 still remain.

Travel tips:

Surrounding attractions: Tian'anmen Square, Dongjiaominxiang Church, Laoshe Tea House

Getting there: Bus 9, 673, 692, 723, 729 to Chongwenmenxi;

Subway Line 2 to Qianmen, Exit A

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