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Beijing Antique Stores

Liulichang Cultural Street (Colored Glaze Plant)

Old and new, real and fake, moral and immoral, it was all to be found on Liulichang Street, it is really a visitor's treat.

Located in the southwestern part of the city, Liulichang is one of two streets which still bear the appearance of a Qing Dynasty market street (the other is Suzhou Street in the Summer Palace mainly for show purposes). It is well known throughout China and the world for its ancient books, calligraphy, paintings, rubbings, ink stones and ink, etc.

Beijing AntiqueLiulichangs history can be traced back to the Tang Dynasty when it was part of the prefecture of Ji. Under the Liao it was known as Haiwangcun (Village of the Sea King). The kiln, which made glazed tiles, was first built in the Yuan Dynasty. When Ming rulers began to build their palaces in Beijing, the factory was enlarged and became one of the five kilns under control of the Board of Works. Most glazed structural components of the Ming halls and palaces were produced in these factories.

In Ming and Qing times, Liulichang was a favorite haunt for scholars, painters and calligraphers that gathered there to write, compile and purchase books, as well as to paint and compose poetry. By the Kangxi period (1661-1722), Liulichang had become a flourishing cultural center and was described as having "homes and buildings lined up like fish scales." During the Qianlong period (1736-1796), the street was even more prosperous. There one could find "rooms filed to the roof beams with all kinds of books," "a street filled with treasures and trinkets," and the "quintessence of all the markets in the capital concentrated in one street." When Emperor Qianlong decided to revise the Complete Library of the Four Branches of Literature, he ordered scholars from the project, and Liulichang became a center for research in textual criticism. For visiting scholars, a book-buying trip to Liulichang' s over 30 bookstores was one of the pleasure of a stay in Beijing.

In 1950, the Peoples Government passed laws to prohibit the export of valuable antiques and books. The Palace Museum and the Museum of Chinese History bought up all important historical artifacts, paintings, calligraphy and other works of art that had been scattered among Liulichangs shops. Books of Song and Yuan dynasty woodblock prints, Ming and Qing classics, old hand - annotated texts and the Beijing Library, Beijing University and Beijing Normal University bought publication.

In 1979, the State Council approved a recommendation to restore and expand Liulichang. The original shops have been restored and the road broadened into a 15-meter-wide pedestrian mall. A museum displaying classical paintings, calligraphy and other antiquities tells the story of the old street.

The China Bookstore, Rongbaozhai, and Jiguge are the most famous antique stores in Liulichang. The China Bookstore located at the back of a courtyard of the first complex on the north, sells second-hand foreign language books.

A used bookstore in China, particularly that has foreign language offerings, was once a rare thing, but this one also has a curious organizational style. All the foreign-language material is mixed together.

English-language works stand spine-to-spine with Russian and German works. Literature shares shelf space with psychology and history.

Some of the books are stamped with university library and church seals. Antiques like this, worth a fair amount anywhere, go for no small sum in Liulichang. Good deals may be found among the Chinese books, however. If you are patient and know what you want.

Those who love antiques or arts and crafts will find it an ideal place to shop, and those who’re not planning to spend money may also find it worth going to have a look at the street itself.

Pan Jia Yuan

Beijing AntiquePan Jia Yuan Folk Culture Market is China's largest market for antiques, art and craft items. As a market for people to visit for leisure in holidays, it also involves all varieties of goods for collectors in the nation and is China's biggest collecting and distributing center of art and craft articles.
 
Situated in a place of city traffic hub, south of Eastern Third Ring Road and west of Panjiayuan Bridge nearby Second Ring Road, it is very easy for visitors to reach. The market covers over three hectares of land and accommodates over 3,000 stalls open to business. Everyday hundreds of Chinese people and foreigners patronize this market of traditional Chinese style for fun or for some serious findings.

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