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HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
SUMMARY

Dashilar was for 600 years one of Beijing’s most commercially prosperous, vibrant, and culturally important quarters. Located strategically near Qianmen gate, the main entrance to the inner city, Dashilar straddled royal and civil life. Its proximity to the locus of power, but exclusion from the tight legislation of the Inner City, let Dashilar develop into a vibrant commercial and entertainment precinct; nurturing some of the country’s oldest shops, theatres attributed to the birth of Peking Opera, and the many “Tea Houses” which nefariously even mediated some of China’s domestic and foreign policy. The vibrancy, the greyness of the market, the opportunity for expression; all these were an outcome of a relaxing of the rules of society and state which settled over Dashilar and can be read even in the urban fabric of the area. This kind of freedom attracted some of China’s great cultural figures including celebrated Opera performer Mei Lanfang, and the father of modern Chinese literature Lu Xun.

Building Periods


Ming & QingDynasty

Early ROC

1949-1980

1980s

1990 - Present



As a site ofexchange between the old and new cities, as well as between the capital and therest of the nation, Dashilar grew to become the cosmopolitan heart of Beijing.Through the dynasties it continued to grow with incremental developmentsleaving sedimental trace upon one another.


Building History

Instead of imperial edict, the residents and merchants ofYuan Dynasty Beijing formed Dashilar's streets     themselves, moving between the old city (located to the south west) and the new city (centred around the Forbidden City). This led to the 3 main oblique streets  (or Xiejie) that are the heart of Dashilar and quite  unique within Beijing's perpendicular inner city.


 
 

Except for thedemolition of inner city walls and the completion of the moat, Dashilar has played much of the same role in the traditional urban fabrics until 2005. Residentialareas are surrounded by major streets and commercial   areas, dotted by a numberof retailors and community service providers. Altogether they make up the major part of the old city.


Brief History
Dashilar was for 600 years one of Beijing's most commercially prosperous, vibrant, and culturally important quarters. Located strategically near Qianmen gate, the main entrance to the inner city, Dashilar straddled royal and civil life. Its proximity to the locus of power, but exclusion from the tight legislation of the Inner City, let Dashilar develop into a vibrant commercial and entertainment precinct; nurturing some of thecountry's oldest shops, theatres attributedto the birth of Peking Opera, and the many 'Tea Houses' which nefariously even mediated some of China's domesticand foreign policy. The vibrancy, the greyness of the market, the opportunity for expression; all these were an outcomeof a relaxing of the rules of societyand state which settled over Dashilar and can be read even in the urban fabric of the area. This kind of freedom attracted some of China's great cultural figures including celebrated Opera performer Mei Lan Fang , and the father of modern Chinese literature Lu Xun.