Legend-Decade's ups and downs of Old Sheshan Street

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2012-05-21

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At the southern foot of the East Sheshan Mountain and on the northern bank of the Shanqian River, there was a small street stretching more than 600 meters from west to east.

It is also known as the Shanqian Street and Old Sheshan Street. It starts from today's Waiqingsong Highway in the west and ends at East Sheshan Mountain Park near Meigong Angling Rock.

In 1925, the Marian Basilica was expanded and land was purchased on Shanqian Street to build a single-storey house with three rooms and two wings combining Chinese and Western elements. The gable wall, door header, gate and interior doors were all in a Western style. The roof adopts Chinese-style small tiles.

The house covers about 200m2 of land. It is a residence of foreign architects and engineers. This building is still in good condition. When Marian Basilica was expanded, Chinese and foreign designers and migrant workers stayed on Shanqian Street and the area was very popular.

The three teahouses often ran with full capacity. On the street, there were also three grocery stores, a tofu shop, a small theatre, a coffin shop and two opium lamp shops (selling opium). Most of the shops were single-storey buildings.

There were a few multistory buildings, and most of them were at the western end of the street (near today's Waiqingsong Highway). At the eastern end of the street were farmhouses. The Shanqian River flowed from west to east. Over it there were a few stone arch bridges, such as: the Yangjia Garden Stone Bridge, Yangjia Small Stone Bridge, Shanqianhe Stone Bridge and Qingshui Stone Bridge.

Among them, the Yangjia Garden Stone Bridge is the most exquisite. It took ten years to build the Marian Basilica and the Shanqian Street flourished for ten years. After that, the street lost its prosperity.

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