Tianjin Ancient Culture Street Tourist Attraction (Jinmen Guli)
Tianjin Ancient Culture Street
Located on the west bank of the Hai River, in the north-eastern corner of Nankai District, Tianjin Ancient Culture Street is a commercial pedestrian street. In ancient times, this was the place where people worshipped the Goddess of the Sea and boatmen had happy get-togethers. Tianjin Ancient Culture Street is a street consisting of small booths or shops which are modeled after the small folk shops from the Qing Dynasty. There are about 100 shops in the street. All of them have Qing-styled architecture. Colored pictures decorate the doors or windows. These pictures are mainly concerned with history, mythology, figures, birds and flowers. They are openwork, relief sculptures or circular engravings. The street mainly specializes in three kinds of commodities. The first are cultural relics, antiques and old furniture, such as the Four Treasures of Study, old books, traditional New Year paintings and jade jewelry. The second are traditional folk commodities, such as baby dolls, painted clay sculptures of Clay Figure Zhang, Yang Liuqing New Year Paintings with over 300 years of history, Tianjin Wei Kites, brick carvings of Zhuanke Liu, diabolos of Xiuzhu Room, porcelain from Jingdezhen and embroidery from Suzhou. The third are restaurants, tea houses and entertainment venues. Local dramas and folk art forms are often performed on an open-air stage or in the square in front of Tianhou Palace. Except for those particular shops in Tianjin Ancient Culture Street, there are a lot of small booths along the street. Tomatoes on sticks, roasted sweet potatoes, cakes and desserts are all sold in these small booths. Huanghui Fair in Tianjin Ancient Culture Street is also a famous traditional activity in Tianjin. In the beginning, the Huanghui Fair was called "Niangniang Fair". Legend states that the birthday of the Goddess of the Sea in Tianhou Palace falls on 23rd March. Since the years of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty, people have held an annual Huanghui Fair for four days before the birthday of the Goddess of the Sea. All kinds of performances are shown along the street during the Huanghui Fair, which is such a spectacular event. At present, the grand Huanghui Fair is held there on 23rd March of the lunar calendar every year. During the fair, you will see performances of the dragon lanterns, lion dances, Shaolin martial arts, stilt walking, Dharma Drums, land boats, yangko (a popular rural folk dance), martial arts, the Peking opera, the local opera, and Pang-tzu. The traditional shows are performed in the square in front of Tianhou Palace or Gongbei Avenue in the north and Gongnan Avenue in the south.
Tianjin’s Ancient Culture Street A little taste of ancient China in the middle of a bustling, modern city
As a major port city, and China’s fourth largest city by population, Tianjin boasts a variety of different attractions and hot spots for tourists. Just 30 minutes from Beijing, it is an ideal getaway from the capital. Plenty of travelers head there for one spot in particular—Guwenhua Jie (古文化街), which translates to Ancient Culture Street. Emerging out of the fog and mist, Guwenhua Jie lives up to its name, looking like the set of a Chinese period drama. The entire street is built in the ancient style, with traditional Chinese buildings and narrow, hutong-like streets. The use of Chinese blue-bricks, rather than cement, to construct the shops lining the streets gave the street a very authentic vibe. In fact, if you ignored the shopkeepers on their cellphones, and the high-rises looming in the background, you could almost pretend that you were in ancient China, even just for a short while. Despite its name, Guwenhua Jie is actually quite modern. It was built during the 1980s, and officially opened to the public on New Year’s Day in 1986. However, while the streets and shops are relatively new, Guwenhua Jie contains some truly ancient buildings. The first is the Tianhou Palace which is located right in the center portion of Guwenhua Jie. Built during the Yuan Dynasty in 1326, it is actually ancient, but has had to been repaired several times throughout history. The palace houses one of only three Mazu temples left in China. Mazu is a patron goddess of sailors, so her prominence in Tianjin makes sense, given the large port. Tianhou Palace is huge, containing an Opera Hall, Qisheng Temple and temple gate, a cannon-storing pavilion, a Bell-Drum Tower, the Zhangxian Pavilion, amongst other halls and attractions. Another popular site within Guwenhua Jie is the Yuhuangge Taoist Temple. Built during the Ming Dynasty, the temple is the oldest structure in the street. Visitors to Yuhuangge can get a view of the entire street from the second floor of the temple. While home to these longstanding buildings, the reason Guwenhua Jie got its name might be due to the kind of things sold there. The shops and stalls found on Ancient Culture Street have made it a popular tourist attraction for foreigners and Chinese alike. The goods in shops and stalls on Guwenhua Jie range from Chinese and local Tianjin folk-craft, to Mao memorabilia. Keeping in with the spirit of “Ancient Culture”, vendors also sell items like jade, porcelain, Chinese tea sets and kites, among other objects. As with any great Chinese tourist site, Guwenhua Jie has a lot of food stalls selling Tianjin delicacies, such as mahua (fried twisted dough) or erduoyan (ear-hole fried cake) which is just a fried rice cake filled with red bean paste. For a particularly tasty snack, stop by the sesame candy vendor, who will cut you out a sheet of sesame candy using a paper cutter. Every turn you take, particularly at a time like the Spring Festival, will reveal two or three vendors, with some just parking their carts right between two stores. During peak tourist periods, Guwenhua Jie, like many of the tourist sites in China, is packed with people. One handy tip is to move with the flow (of people). In these busy times, you are likely to spot police officers on hand to direct the flow of traffic. However, the food stalls can prove to be a great, if temporary, relief from the crush of people. Set aside more than a few hours to hit Guwenhua Jie as you will need loads of time to take in the beautiful architecture and sites, or to visit the shops.
Ancient Cultural Street
Ancient Cultural Street, Guwenhua Jie in Chinese, is located in the Nankai District of the Tianjin Municipality and was formally opened in 1986. It is located on the west bank of the Haihe River, with the Temple of the Queen of Heaven (Tianhou Palace) as its geographical center. Ancient Cultural Street begins from Gongbei Avenue in the north, and ends at Gongnan Avenue in the south, being 750 yards (687 meters) long and 16 feet (5 meters) wide. Although essentially a business street, it attracts visitors who come to see its special architectural styles, admire its classic cultural features, buy various folk crafts, and sample the delicious local snacks. Above all, as visitors take a walk there, they will be particularly impressed by the splendid replica classical architecture in the folk style of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
1 Guwenhua Jie, Tianjin's Ancient Culture Street, is a cultural tourist attraction on the west bank of the Hai River in Nankai District, Tianjin, China.
2 Tianjin Ancient Culture Street was opened on New Year's Day in 1986.
3 Tianjin Ancient Cultural Street begins at Gongbei Avenue in the north, and ends at Gongnan Avenue in the south, being 0.36 miles long and 16 feet wide.