Summer Palace

-- Suzhou Market Street --

Can the small bridge and the water remind you of the enthralling Suzhou city? Running 300 meters along the bank of Rear Lake with an area of 3,000 square meters, this street used to be called "buy and sell street" during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. First formed during the Han dynasty (206 B.C-220 A.D), there used to be 64 stores, 14 archways and 8 bridges. In 1860 during the invasion of the Anglo-French allied forces, the buildings in the street were destroyed. Only in recent years that the street was wholly restored as a tourist attraction in the Summer Palace.

Built after the market street in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, the street gave the imperial family an illusion to take part in the daily life of ordinary people which was forbidden to them. When imperial nobles came to visit the street, eunuchs, aiming to please their masters, would act as tradesmen and customers to produce a prosperous scene in the street.

After recent restoration, now the street is lined on both sides with archaized structures, such as various shops, teahouses and restaurants. All the buildings are furnished with classical Chinese furniture and all the shop assistants are dressed in the traditional clothes of the Qing dynasty. Strolling in this street, one may fell that he is in a street in South China one hundred years ago.

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