Qianmen Gate Avenue is among one of the popular business streets in Beijing. It is in the middle axle of the city, from Zhengyangmen Gate's Arrow Tower in the north, to the park of the Heavenly Temple. A marketplace had begun to flourish at there in the Ming Dynasty. Later in the Qing Dynasty, the both sides of the street were crowded with vendors selling fish, meat, fruits, cloths, pig, rice, as well as jewelries and daily commodities. At that time the neighboring Hutongs had many workshops, warehouses, theaters and hotels. The shops built of bad shape canopies were to be demolished and houses of brick and wood structure had to be constructed instead. Famous local restaurants had been opened there, such as Quanjude Beijing Roast Duck, Zhengyanglou Restaurant, Dou Yi Chu Shaomai Restaurant and so on. In the late Qing Dynasty, Qianmen Area had become a night marketplace. In early twentieth century, two railway stations were established in the east and west of Qianmen Gate, where became the train traffic hub of old Beijing. In early 1950s, Qianmen Area had more than 800 privately owned stores. With the old and small businesses have been preserved, in 1979, shops were set up selling metal tools, electronics, bicycles, clocks and watches, as well as industrial chemicals.
Nowadays Qianmen Gate Avenue has become a pedestrian street. The vehicles can only be run there are the old Beijing's Ding Dong Cars. Like the trams in Hong Kong, the cars are being run on steel tracks. In 2008, the area of 4 south-to-north streets and 22 east-to-west Hutongs are to be formed as "Qianmen Gate Traditional Business and Tourism Area of China's Time-honored Brands" and "Classic Experience Area of Old Beijing Quadrangles", which are combined the great traditional businesses and ancient culture in the city.
Transportation : bus route 19, 20, 21 or 22 until at Qianman Bus Stop.
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