The Shanghai French Concession ‘Heritage’ Walk

Today, we went on a ‘Heritage Walk’ (or “Walking Tour”) of the Shanghai French Concession.

J was the “tour-guide” for the day, and she crafted the trail using 4 sites – CNN Travel, Frommers, Two Suitcases and a Tin Pot and Wikitravel.

The Shanghai French Concession (French: Concession française de Changhaï; Chinese: 上海法租界; pinyin: Shànghǎi Fǎ Zūjiè) was a foreign concession in Shanghai, China from 1849 until 1946, which progressively expanded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The concession came to an end in practice in 1943 when the Vichy French government signed it over to the pro-Japanese puppet government in Nanking. For much of the 20th century, the area covered by the former French Concession remained the premier residential and retail district of Shanghai, and was also the centre of Catholicism in Shanghai. Despite rampant re-development over the last few decades, the area retains a distinct character, and is a popular tourist destination.” (Wikipedia)

Take the metro to Changshu Rd (Line 1), take exit 4, walk south-west on Huaihai Middle Rd (淮海中路) toward Changshu Rd and make a left turn on (walking south) Baoqing Rd (宝庆路), then continue past Fuxing Middle Rd (复兴中路) and make a left turn to (walking east) Taojiang Rd (桃江路); make a slight left and walk towards Fenyang Rd (汾阳路) to start your tour of the French Concession with:

1. Shanghai Museum of Arts and Crafts (上海工艺美术博物馆 / shàng hǎi gōng yì měi shù bó wù guǎn) at No. 79 Fenyang Rd:

Entry costs RMB 8 and the museum is opened daily from 9 AM to 4 PM:

Housed in a grandiose white garden building that dates all the way back to the French Renaissance, the Shanghai Museum of Arts and Crafts is a melting pot of two cultures. It showcases the various crafts of Shanghai within the French interior of carved swirls on the ceiling, fresh flowers above the fireplace, and red carpet on the spiral staircase.

What makes this museum different from other museums is that you can see the artists live at work. They are seated in different rooms according to their craft, and some, like those who paint names and designs on t-shirts, can individualize a piece for you upon request.

The crafts on display in the museum are a combination of works done by these artists as well as exhibits dating back many years ago. Some are available for purchase, and have a price displayed next to them.

The first floor of the museum showcases paper-cutting, coloured lanterns, paintings, and antiques.

The second floor showcases Jade Carvings, Ivory Carvings, Wood Carvings, Fine Ivory Carvings, Ink-stone Carvings, Bamboo Carvings, Porcelain Carvings, and Lacquer Ware Carvings.

The third and final floor of the museum showcases Gu Embroidery, Woolen Needlepoint Embroidery, Theatrical Costumes, Woolen Knitting, and Dough Modeling.

Short write-ups (available in English and Chinese) introduce you to the different genre of crafts in each room and provide a comprehensive overview of how the Shanghai art and craft scene was shaped over the years.” (iDEAL Shanghai)

Walk north on Fenyang Rd (汾阳路) toward Fuxing Middle Rd (复兴中路) to get to:
2. Shanghai Conservatory of Music (上海音乐学院 / shàng hǎi yīn yuè xué yuàn) at No. 20 Fenyang Rd:

The Shanghai Conservatory of Music is a music research institute and a public university with the departments: musicology, composition and conducting, voice, piano, orchestral instruments, Chinese instruments, music education and musical drama. It’s concert hall regularly hosts concerts.” (

Built in 1926, this is a heritage architecture which is a German Renaissance garden residence and was once used as Belgian Consulate.

In the garden is a statue of 蔡元培 (cài yuán péi), who established the 2. Shanghai Conservatory of Music on November 27, 1927:

Walk north on Fenyang Rd (汾阳路) toward Huaihai Middle Rd (淮海中路), turn right (east) on Huaihai Middle Rd (淮海中路), turn left (north) on Xiangyang North Rd (襄阳北路) and then turn left (west) on Xinle Rd (新乐路) to get to:
3. Former Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Mother of God at No. 55 Xinle Rd:

Built in 1931, and inspired by the Cathedral of the Saviour in Moscow, this beautiful church used to be able to hold up to as many as 2,500 worshippers. This part of the former French Concession was popular with Shanghai’s Russian refugees, more than 5,000 of whom turned out for the Cathedral’s opening service, fully half of them had to stay outside for the duration. Before World War II, the Cathedral has two bishops, two archimandrites, three arch-priests, six priests and priest-monks, as well as two proto-deacons, a church warden and a secretary. Designed by a Russian émigré, the six original paintings of cherubim and seraphim were rumoured to have resembled the local artist’s various lovers. Sadly, these have long since disappeared, having been painted over while being renovated. The Cathedral served as a machine shop during the Cultural Revolution.” (A Walking Tour Shanghai: Sketches of the city’s architectural treasures, By Gregory Byrne Bracken)

The Cathedral from diagonally opposite, at the intersection of Xiangyang North Rd and Xinle Rd:

The Cathedral now houses a restaurant, Grape Restaurant, an “affordable Shanghainese restaurant serving all the local favourites and some adventurous dishes. It’s frequented by locals and foreigners alike. Conveniently located in the Boutique Fashion street of Xinle Lu, makes it an ideal place to stop and eat before more shopping can be done.” (

Directly opposite the Cathedral at No. 82 Xinle Rd is:
4. Mansion Hotel (首席公馆酒店 / shǒu xí gōng guǎn jiǔ diàn):

Built in 1932, designed by French architect Lafayette, it was once the office siteof San in Corp, which was shared by Huang Jingrong, Du Yuesheng and Jin Tingsun. “It was once the home of Shanghai’s most notorious gangster, Du Yuesheng. This impressive mansion was recently converted into a luxury hotel. Decorated throughout as if it was still the 1930s,the mansion’s height when built was somewhat unusual for a private home. This is fortunate as its fifth-floor bar and restaurant provide spectacular views of this part of the city.” (A Walking Tour Shanghai: Sketches of the city’s architectural treasures, By Gregory Byrne Bracken)

Walking south on Xiangyang North Rd (襄阳北路), you’ll walk by 5. Xiangyang Park (襄阳公园) on your left,
The park is a charming green lung in this busy part of the city, beautifully landscaped, it is perenially popular with locals and visitors alike. Huaihai Rd is one of Shanghai’s major thoroughfares, known in the colonial era as Avenue Joffre, it cuts across the former French Concession linking the Old Chinese City, in the east, to Hengshan Rd in the more fashionable west. Its eastern end is always lively, a shopper’s paradise and home to any number of boutiques and department stores, containing every brand of luxury goods imaginable.” (A Walking Tour Shanghai: Sketches of the city’s architectural treasures, By Gregory Byrne Bracken)

It was sweet seeing this elderly couple walking “hand-in-hand”:

That’s Xiangyang Park (襄阳公园), which we did not visit, on the left.

Turn left (north-east) on Huaihai Middle Rd (淮海中路) and you’ll be in shopper’s paradise:

Turn left (north) on Shaanxi South Rd (陕西南路) and you’ll walk by Parkson Department Store (百盛购物中心淮海路店), which is currently undergoing some renovation:

Parkson Department Store is home to fashion boutiques, homeware, gadgets and restaurants.

Continue walking north along Shaanxi Nan Lu (陕西南路) and you’ll come by a small alleyway/pathway that leads you to:
6. Verdun / Beverly Gardens at No. 50 Shaanxi Nan Lu:

Obvious from the 2 pictures, ‘Verdun / Beverly Gardens’ is not a ‘garden’; builty in 1925-1929, ‘Verdun / Beverly Gardens’ is actually new-style Lilong houses of masonry structure designed by Algar & Co. Architects and is a ‘heritage architecture’.

Walking on that little pathway, we discovered an unanticipated stop (we’d planned to get to #8 after #5 but discovered #6 and #7 by chance as we walked along):

7. Feng Zikai Residence (丰子恺旧居) at No. 93, Lane 93, Shaanxi South Rd (陕西南路39弄93号):

Feng Zikai (1898-1975), born in Tong Xiang Zhejiang Province, was a famous painter and writer and also an educator in art and music. After founding of the country, he was appointed as Dean of the Shanghai Paintings Academy and Chairman of the Shanghai Artists Association. He lived here during 1954-1975. In 2005, the site was classified as a historical building for the preservation of cultural heritage.

Ring the bell for entry; free entry from Wednesdays to Sundays, 10 AM to 430 PM:

Continue walking on the pathway and you’ll be walking along the back of Okura Garden Hotel:

Walking on, you’ll reach Changle Rd (长乐路); walk east (turn right) along it and you’ll get to the intersection of Changle Rd (长乐路) and Maoming South Rd (茂名南路) where you’ll see:
8. Lyceum Theatre (兰心大戏院) at No. 57 Maoming South Rd:

Lyceum theater is just steeped in history. Built in the 1930s Shanghai boom days, it was once an amateur dramatics society. In more recent, calmer times Lyceum screens a combination of terrible blockbusters and critic worthy “films.” It’s also a satellite for the Shanghai International Film Festival.” (

Walk south along Maoming South Rd (茂名南路) and you’ll see:
9. Okura Garden Hotel (花园饭店) at No. 58 Maoming South Rd:

The building was constructed in 1926 as ‘The French Club’ and was one of the most significant buildings erected by the French in Shanghai in the 1920’s. After the establishment of the P.R. of China in 1949, the building was used as a People’s Culture Palace with the garden as a sports field. Mao Ze Dong, the Chairman of Chinese Communist Party, stayed here for a period and the garden underwent some changes so that he could have his leisurely walks. Okura Garden Hotel was established in 1989.

A grand foyer welcomes its visitors:

The Cocktail Lounge Oasis on Level 1:

Look for this area near ‘Coffee Shop Rose‘ to get to the east entrance lobby:

The east entrance lobby is at the end of this corridor:

This is the east entrance lobby:

The stairs in the east entrance lobby leading to the second floor vividly reflect the popular art decoration trend of the old times of shanghai. The fine cut, metal railings were likely imported from France.

This was the original entrance to the Cercle Sportif’s ballroom, complete with marble stairways and colonnades topped by nude female figures.” (Frommers)

Continue south on Maoming South Rd (茂名南路) and you’ll see on your left:
10. Jin Jiang Hotel (锦江饭店 / jǐn jiāng fàn diàn) at No. 59 Maoming South Rd:

The “Jin Jiang Hotel” brand became popular in the 1930s, and was formerly known as the Jin Jiang Sichuan Cuisine Restaurant established by Ms. Dong Zhujun.
The Jin Jiang Hotel was formally opened on June 9, 1951,It was the first State Guest House after the founding of new China. The hotel features five structures of different styles surrounded by two beautiful gardens.
Since opening its doors, it has received more than 500 state leaders and government heads making a significant contribution to Chinese foreign affairs activities and promoting the development of Chinese tourism.

Walking south on Maoming South Rd (茂名南路), you’ll see an entire stretch of boutiques:

Continue south on Maoming South Rd (茂名南路) and at the intersection of Maoming South Rd (茂名南路) and Huaihai Middle Rd (淮海中路), you’ll see:
11. Cathay Theatre (国泰电影院 /guó tài diàn yǐng yuàn) at No. 870 Huaihai Middle Rd:

One of Shanghai’s great Art Deco Cinemas, the Cathay was designed by Czech architect C.H. Gonda and opened on January 1, 1932. The main auditorium, which once had 1,080 seats, was made into three separate screens in the ’90s – so little remains of the Art Deco splendour of the exterior. Instead the marble lobby is cluttered with a tacky cardboard China Construction Bank adverts and unkempt pot plants. Still, the exterior is stunning, especially at night.

Tickets range from 35-70RMB and the first last screenings are at 10.10am and 9.30pm everyday.

Continue south along Maoming South Rd (茂名南路) (or UNIQLO Stretch):

This is the UNIQLO you should see:

There’s just this whole European feel!

As we walked south along Maoming South Rd (茂名南路), this statue at the intersection between Maoming South Rd (茂名南路) and Nanchang Rd (南昌路) caught our attention:

Rabindranath Tagore (7 May 1861 – 7 August 1941), renowned Indian poet and philosopher, won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913, the first Asian to receive this honor. India’s National Anthem, “Jana Gana Mana” was composed by him. He visited Shanghai thrice, leading to a profound friendship between him and the Chinese poet Xu Zhimo. Tagore stayed twice at Xu’s residence, which stood close to this spot. This bronze bust of Tagore was presented to the Luwan District People’s Government of Shanghai on 30 May, 2010, by H. E. Shrimati Pratibha Devisingh Patil, President of the Republic of India on the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and China.

Continuing south along Maoming South Rd (茂名南路), past Nanchang Rd (南昌路), you’ll see Shanghai Culture Square (上海文化广场 / shàng hǎi wén huà guǎng chǎng) diagonally opposite you at the intersection of Maoming South Rd (茂名南路) and Fuxing Rd (复兴路):

We’ll skip that for now because we’ll be going there later.

From Maoming South Rd (茂名南路), turn left (east) to go east onto Fuxing Rd (复兴路) and you’ll see:
12. Intercontinental Shanghai Ruijin (Hotel) (瑞金宾馆 /ruì jīn bīn guǎn) at No. 118 Ruijin 2nd Rd:

Intercontinental Shanghai Ruijin (Hotel) is huuuuuuuuuge!

Intercontinental Shanghai Ruijin is a luxurious, 100-acre historic garden estate heritage hotel!

This site used to be “the estate of British publishing and dog-racing magnate Benjamin Morris. He and has family built the four original houses here. They used the property to breed dogs to be raced in the canidrome that they owned across the street, where Shanghai Culture Square now stands. Little historic mementos of his reign are dotted around the estate, such as a statue of his racing dog, which constantly reminds you of the intriguing history of the grounds and matches the British hotel’s personality and heritage principles perfectly.

In 1927, Chiang Kai Shek proposed to Soong Mei-ling in one of the houses. During World War II, the occupying Japanese used the property as an opium depot and a den for Japanese soldiers. After the war Chiang Kai Shek took it as his Shanghai residence. That, of course, lasted until around 1949, when the newly-instated communist government appropriated it, making it the official offices and residence of Shanghai’s first communist mayor, Chen Yi (there is a statue of him on the Bund).” ( and Shanghai Talk Magazine)

As Frommers had written this stop in his French Concession Walking Tour as, “Ruijin Hotel” (Stop 6), it took us a while to figure out that “Ruijin Hotel” = “Intercontinental Shanghai Ruijin (Hotel)”!

Walk south along Ruijin Er Lu (瑞金二路) then make a right (south-west) onto Yongjia Rd (永嘉路) and you’ll see:
13. Shanghai Culture Square (上海文化广场 / shàng hǎi wén huà guǎng chǎng) at No. 36 Yongjia Rd:

Initially built as a casino in the ’20s, the Shanghai Culture Square which costs 1.1 billion RMB to build and can hold 2,011 people, is committed to mostly showing musicals. In other words, expect Broadway touring companies, translated versions of West End favourites and, most importantly, musicals born in China.” (CITYWEEKEND and Time Out Shanghai)

Continue south-west on Yongjia Rd (永嘉路) and you’ll see:
14. Double Rainbow Massage House at No. 45 Yongjia Rd:

This site is not so much of a ‘heritage site’ but it is where you can get a “cheap yet thorough massage”, but by blind masseurs. (

There are no frills at Double Rainbow massage, or even pristine sheets, but the blind and partially-sighted masseurs certainly know how to work out tension from a knotted-up back. You don’t take your clothes off – so make sure you wear something comfortable – and up to four other people will be being massaged in the same room.” (Time Out Shanghai)

It is opened from 12 noon to 12 midnight and costs RMB 68 for a 45-minutes body massage, RMB 83 for 68-minutes and RMB 110 for 90-minutes; foot massage is available at RMB 65 for 60 minutes.

Though our feet were aching from all the walking we’ve done, we did not have time to stop for a massage and so we proceeded with our walk.

Turn left (south) on Shaanxi South Rd (陕西南路) and continue south to get to:
15. Huangpu District Mingfu Library (黄浦区明复图书馆 / huáng pǔ qū míng fù tú shū guǎn) at No. 235 Shaanxi South Rd:

Built in 1929, Mingfu Library is a monument under the protection of Luwan Municipality and is a reinforced concrete structure in modern style. “Mingfu Library of Huangpu District is a national first-grade library boasting its over 400,000 volumes and annual service capacity of more than 500,000 people on average. A main building is Mingfu Building (the former Mingfu Library) built in the 1930s, while a wing is Lele Building donated by Chinese American Guan Kangcai. After being expanded in late 2004, Mingfu Library became a unique complex with “Mingfu Building” as the center, and “Lele Building” and “Huixin Building” as the bilateral symmetry. The library has deep cultural deposits, as “Mingfu Building” witnessed the history of the Science Society of China and served as the birth place of the China Association for Promoting Democracy as well.” (Shanghai Huangpu)

Continue south on Shaanxi South Rd (陕西南路) and you’ll get to:
16. Cité Bourgogne (步高里 / bù gāo lǐ) at No. 287 Shaanxi South Rd:

Cité Bourgogne was built in 1930 in what was then the French Concession (hence its French name), and is located at the intersection of Shaanxi Road South and Jianguo Road West. The large compound has five gates, four of them facing Shaanxi Road South and one facing Jianguo Road West. The two most impressive gates are designed like traditional Chinese pai lou, and bear both the three-character inscription for the neighborhood’s Chinese name, Bu Gao Li, and its French name, Cité Bourgogne, with the date of construction A.D. 1930. You can enter the compound at either Shaanxi Road South Lane 287 or Jianguo Road West Lane 172, the other three less impressive gates being kept closed. Inside the compound there are four lanes running east to west, and one central lane running north to south. Although the compound has been restored, average local people still live here, and continue to hang their laundry out to dry in the sunshine, which gives it a less sterile atmosphere than Xintiandi. Although it was originally meant to house only 78 families, it is now home to 450 households.” (Shanghai-Today) (More photos and details of Cité Bourgogne at Shanghai squared)

1 of the 4 gates facing Shaanxi Road South:

This gate is locked.

Another of the 4 gates facing Shaanxi Road South:

This gate is locked as well.

Gate facing Jianguo Road West:

Continue south on Shaanxi South Rd (陕西南路) then turn left (east) onto Jianguo West Rd (建国西路), past Ruijin 2nd Rd (瑞金二路) onto Jianguo Middle Rd (建国中路) and a little (absolutely not eye-catching) alley takes you to:
17. Tianzifang (田子坊 / tián zi fang):

Tianzifang is “an artsy area housing bars, cafes, crafts shops, design studios, galleries and boutiques. It is ardently supported by crowds of yuppies, trend setters, designers and expatriates, who fall for temptation of old Shikumen houses (stone-framed-door houses) and lanes with infinite novelties.” (Travel China Guide)

We were pleasantly surprised by Tianzifang and are so glad we checked it out!

It was so crowded and lively, compared to the quiet streets we came from!

Hot wine was sold too!

So European and definitely reminded us of our honeymoon in Europe.

We stumbled upon a shop that sold durian in all styles:

A wall of colourful mailboxes caught our attention:

Kind of similar to the Momi Cafe we saw at Qibao Ancient Town yesterday:

Walking away from the dead-end (where the wall of colourful mailboxes were), we found a map of Tianzifang!

(Click for a larger map)

At the alley perpendicular to the map was an even bigger crowd around a 上海老豆花 (shàng hǎi lǎo dòu huā) stall:

‘Salty’ and ‘Sweet’ soy beancurd were sold at RMB 8 per bowl:

They’ve got quite some spices added:

Being the foodie that we are, we decided to give it a try:

This is the (unique/unconventional) ‘Salty’ soy beancurd:

This is the (conventional) ‘Sweet’ soy beancurd:

All of us loved the ‘Salty’ soy beancurd, (J, non-spicy food-eater, included!) because the piping-hot soy beancurd went well with the chilli oil which soaked the fried doughsticks and was absolutely soothing in the cold! We had to be careful slurping it because it could get chokingly spicy!

More people savouring the hot beancurd:

More interesting shops to check out:

Tianzifang reminds us of Singapore’s Bugis Street and Bangkok’s Chatuchak!

We finally got out of the maze of shops at Lane 210, Taikang Rd (泰康路):

Walking east on Taikang Rd (泰康路), you’ll walk by another exit from Tianzifang at No. 200 Taikang Rd (泰康路):

Continue walking east on Taikang Rd (泰康路) then turn left (north-west) on to Sinan Rd (思南路) until you get to:
18. Former residence of General Zhou Enlai (周公馆 / zhōu gōng guǎn) at No. 73 Sinan Rd:

Zhou Enlai (1898–1976), the first Premier of the People’s Republic of China from 1949 until his death. The three-storey house was built in the 1920s in a French style. Zhou Enlai stayed in the house during 1946.It was the Shanghai Office of the Delegates of the Communist Party of China in 1946–7. The house was listed as a municipal relic in 1959 and became a memorial in 1979. The house is open daily, 9am–5pm, free of charge.” (Wikipedia)

Continue north on Sinan Rd (思南路) and you will get to:
19. Sinan Mansions (思南公馆 / sī nán gōng guǎn) at No. 51 / 53 / 55 / 57 / 59 / 61 Sinan Rd:

Sinan Mansions built around 1920 have been renovated to preserve the 51 Western-style garden houses in downtown Shanghai, each different in design and standing alongside other old buildings and modern apartments.

Wandering in the block of Sinan Mansions, visitors feel like walking through a living museum of world architecture, including East-meets-West designs and Art Deco style.

The block covers an area of 50,000 square meters with 78,800 square meters of built-up area, including nearly 30,000 square meters in the 51 old houses, 27,000 square meters in new buildings, and 22,000 square meters in underground space.

Sinan Mansions are now divided into four areas — Hotel Massenet, a F&B and retail street, luxury condos and corporate villas. It boasts a unique combination of scenery, culture, history and fashion. The block was once home to some of the most famous people in Chinese history.

Sinan Mansions is a new fashion and lifestyle hub away from the crowded Xintiandi near Huaihai Road.” (iDeal Shanghai)

Continue north on Sinan Rd (思南路) and you will get to:
20. Shanghai Museum of Sun Yat-Sen’s Former Residence (孙中山故居纪念馆 / sūn zhōng shān gù jū jì niàn guǎn) at No. 7 Xiangshan Rd:

Admission costs RMB 20 and the museum is open from 9 am to 4 pm.

It may not be that noticeable among the nearby high buildings and mansions but it has won deep reverence and admiration from visitors since it was opened to the public in 1988. It is the Former Residence of Sun Yat-sen (also named Sun Wen), the great forerunner of the Chinese democratic revolution, the founder of the Republic of China and the respected contributor to Chinese modern history.

From 1918 to 1925, Mr. Sun Yat-sen and his wife, Mrs. Soong Ching Ling lived in the Former Residence, which was donated by some patriotic overseas Canadian Chinese, in support of the Chinese revolution. It was here that Mr. Sun accomplished his renowned masterpieces such as Doctrines of Sun Wen, Plans of China’s Development, etc., made the plan of reforming the Three Principles of the People (Nationalism, Democracy and the People’s Livelihood) and put forward the three cardinal policies (alliance with Soviet Russia, cooperation with the Communists and assistance to the workers’ and peasants’ movements). It was also here that he received the representatives of the Communist Party of China and promoted the first cooperation between the two major parties in Chinese modern history (the Nationalist Party and the Communist Party).

The residence witnessed his enthusiasm and his contributions to the Chinese revolution during the last years of this great man. After his death in 1925, Mrs. Soong continued to live here until 1937 when the Japanese army occupied Shanghai. Eight years later, upon China winning the war, Mrs. Soong offered to provide her home as the permanent site to Mr. Sun’s memory. In 1961, the Former Residence of Sun Yat-sen was listed as being one of the Key State-preserved Cultural Relic Units.” (Travel China Guide)

A short distance from Shanghai Museum of Sun Yat-Sen’s Former Residence is an interesting-looking café, ‘Antique Garden‘ (古董花园 /gǔ dǒng huā yuán) at No. 44 Sinan Rd:

Must be because of its antique décors:

240 metres away is hoF, where Baoyue brought us to on New Year’s Eve, at No. 30 Sinan Rd:

These 2 cafes, ‘Antique Garden‘ (古董花园 /gǔ dǒng huā yuán) and hoF, are great pit-stops for refuel along the ‘heritage walk’. 😉

Head west onto Gaolan Rd (皋兰路) to get to:
21. Former St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church at No. 16 Gaolan Rd:

Designed by Yaron Architects and built in 1932-1934, it is a brick and concrete composite construction and is a Russian style church.

The Orthodox church was once used as a washing machine factory and later hosted a French restaurant, Ashanti Dome, on the upper floor, and a Spanish tapas bar on the ground floor called Boca. During the Cultural Revolution which sought to destroy the ‘four olds’ (old customs, old habits, old culture and old thinking), public worship was prohibited but quick-thinking believers of various religions posted images of Mao over their places of worship to prevent overzealous Red Guards from bursting in to destroy the buildings. The St Nicholas Church was one of such buildings — and the image of Mao kept watch over the building until it was taken down in the early 2000s.” (Shanghaiist)

Walk east on Gaolan Rd (皋兰路) toward Sinan Rd (思南路), down this little alley:

You will then to get to the side entrance of:
22. Fuxing Park (复兴公园 /fù xīng gōng yuán)

Park opening hours:
1 April to 30 June – 5 AM to 6 PM
1 July to 30 September – 5 AM to 8 PM
1 October to 31 March – 6 AM to 6 PM

Located in the central area of Shanghai Municipality, Fuxing Park covers a total area of 76, 866 square metres, with South Chongqing Road to the east, Middle Fuxing Road to the south, Sinan Road to the west, and Yandang Road to the north, adjoining Huaihai Business Street.

Fuxing Park is one of the oldest parks in Shanghai and also the only well-protected French-style park in China now. The Park was established in July 1909, known as Gus’ Park (顾家宅公园 /gù jiā zhái gōng yuán) at that time, commonly called French Park (法国公园 / fà guó gōng yuán). In 1944, it was renamed as Daxing Park (大兴公园 / dà xīng gōng yuán) and then in 1946, the name of Fuxing Park (复兴公园 /fù xīng gōng yuán) came into being and is still in use today.

Through many fluxes in history, the Park has kept distinctive scenic spots such as Centennial Plane Tree, Sunken Flower Bed, Rose Garden and Marx-Engels Statue, with more than 170 kinds of plants.

In 2007, the Park underwent an overall transformation, through which its distinctive historic value and humanistic landscape were improved and protected, showing us a better and enhanced charm of a French-style park.

Located in the north-west corner of the park is the Rose Garden-Spring Square (玫瑰园-春广场景区 / méi guī yuán-chūn guǎng chǎng jǐng qū):

This scenic spot consists of the Rose Garden and the Spring Square, where over 20, 000 roses and Chinese roses of more than 10 types are found.

The Rose Garden has an elliptical shape, with mould patterns composed of evergreen clipped hedgerow, cypress and Chinese rose. There is a fountain and sculptures in the centre of the flower bed and an arched rose stand at each intersection, through which the visitors can appreciate various flowers at a close distance. Trees, such as sweet gum, dragon juniper and Chinese tallow tree, are planted nearby, forming a colourful and interesting garden landscape.

The Spring Square is located to the east of the Rose Garden, which is surrounded by steel flower stands. There are climbing plants, such as rose and Chinese wisteria on the flower stands, while spring flowers such as magnolia, sakura and azalea are planted nearby, enhancing the feel of spring.

Located in the north of the longitudinal of the Park is the Marx-Engels Statue:

The Marx-Engels statue was established in August 1985. It is 6.4 metres high, weighs over 70-ton and is composed of 3 pieces of granite stones. White pine, camphor wood and palm grove are planted around the Square, giving us a solemn and serene feel of the place as well as to show the respect people had.

Unfortunately, we did not have time and were also too tired to walk on to the next 3 sites, which you can continue on to:

Upon exiting Fuxing Park at the East Gate, turn left (north-east) onto Chongqing South Rd (重庆南路), turn right (east) onto Xingye Rd (兴业路) and turn left onto Huangpi South Rd (黄陂南路) to get to:
23. Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China (中国共产党第一次全国代表大会会址纪念馆 / zhōng guó gòng chǎn dǎng dì yī cì quán guó dài biǎo dà huì huì zhǐ jì niàn guǎn) at No. 374 Huangpi South Rd:

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The Museum of the First National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is a museum of the city of Shanghai, in the area of Xintiandi, on Xingye Road (formerly Rue Wantz, in the Shanghai French Concession). It is located in the historical buildings in which the First National Communist Party Congress took place during the month of July in 1921.

The museum combines exhibits about the history of China, the history of the city of Shanghai, and the events surrounding the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party.” (Wikipedia)

The next stop is a 2-square-block pedestrian mall (as can be seen on Google maps) of cafes and boutiques:
24. Xintiandi (新天地 / xīn tiān dì)

We had explored Xintiandi on Thursday, so it’s probably fine for us to have missed it…

Assuming #22 (Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China) you went south along Huangpi South Rd (黄陂南路), west along Zizhong Rd (自忠路), north along Madang Rd (马当路) and east along Taicang Rd (太仓路)… Continue east along Taicang Rd and make a left (north) on Huangpi South Rd (黄陂南路) to get to Huaihai Middle Rd (淮海中路) where you may either (1) walk 3.1 km OR (2) take the metro to Yuyuan Garden then walk 1.7 km to:
25. The Bund (外滩 / wài tān)

The Bund at night, as viewed from Pudong.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since we’re absolutely tired and hungry, we decided to explore The Bund next week 😛


3 thoughts on “The Shanghai French Concession ‘Heritage’ Walk

  1. Pingback: Sleep/School, Eat, Sleep/Study, Eat, Sleep/Study… | Hu's Married!

  2. Pingback: Dinner @ Xin Xiang Hui (辛香汇) | Hu's Married!

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