Beijing Hutong, just as the Great Wall, Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square, is one of the symbols of Beijing both in ancient times and modern time. So during Beijing tour if you have enough time you had better visit Famous Beijing Hutong to experience old life.
Qianshi Hutong is a famous Beijing Hutong located in the west of Zhubaoshi Jie, next to the famous business district in Beijing, Dashilan . It is the narrowest Hutong both at present and in ancient times in Beijing with the total length of 55 meters, the average width of 0.7 meters while the narrowest point is only 0.4 meters. Qianshi Hutong consists of nine groups of north-south buildings. Two people have to sidle across the walk while a man pushing a bicycle would be difficult to pass up. On the western end of Qianshi Hutong there is a large canopy which was the government-run money trading floor, referred to as “money market” during Qing Dynasty. Therefore the hutong got its name of Qianshi. Generally speaking, Qianshi Hutong is the oldest city alley and the most complete financial transactions in China.
On both sides of Qianshi Hutong there are the precious metal casting industries, specializing in the workshops special approval of the government of the Qing Dynasty. These industries along the hutong at the time are known as the “furnace line”. Jewelry Street is the most concentrated of the furnace line sections in the Qing Dynasty, the formation of the money market, the Republic of depression after the furnace line, the money market was converted into silver Shop room, forming a narrow alley. There are four courtyards and a paved house located in the south of the street and each one covers an area of 80 square meters with the book from the plaque on the door has changed the indications, was the furnace line, to the store after the workshop.
Currently in Qianshi Hutong, there are 10 tablets and several early financial companies such as “Chase Bank “, “Matthey Silver” and other buildings. Some courtyards still remains the style of Qing Dynasty, preserved wooden ceiling structure, and some still pinned iron license “the capital of Commerce”.
If you are interested in Beijing Hutong and want to pay a visit, you could join the group of half day Beijing Hutong tour which you will get a deep understanding about Beijing Hutong culture.