Kuanzhai Ancient Street of Qing Dynasty
Kuanzhai Alley is a historical and cultural area in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. Locals call it “Kuanzhaixiangzi-宽窄巷子”. Kuanzhai Ancient Street of Qing Dynasty consists of three east-west streets from north to south. And they are wide alley, narrow alley and well alley. Moreover, the area also includes residential houses between streets. Historically, Kuanzhai alley was the place where the Eight Banners live in the Qing Dynasty.
However, since 2007, Chengdu government has renovated the Kuanzhai alley and relocated more than 900 households.
Additionally, they repaired and renewed more than 50 courtyards covering 30,000 square meters of floor space. At the same time, an underground parking lot has been added as well. The redecorated area was officially open to the public on June 14, 2008.
In the Kuanzhai Alley, various stores are selling different kinds of Sichuan snacks, handicrafts and books. Except the traditional side, the Kuanzhai Alley also combines the western culture. For example, tourist can get coffee from Starbucks there. The bustling restaurants and shops are everywhere.
The alley is a tourist spot that focuses on the culture of old Chengdu. Because of that, it has won the “Award for Achievement in the Construction of Creative Industries in China” in 2008. Furthermore, it was the “Commercial Pedestrian Street with Chinese Characteristics” in 2009.
Main Sights at Kuanzhai Ancient Street
- 1.Wide Alley (Kuomintang)
The wide alley is a nostalgic area with an old face. However, during Qing dynasty, people call it Xingren Alley. Still there are many late Qing buildings. Among them, some have the western style. Wide alley is a “leisure life” area. Also it is the reproduction of the old Chengdu life. There is an Old Chengdu Life Experience Hall in the alley where tourists can experience Sichuan culture and customs.
- 2.Narrow Alley(Zhaixiangzi)
The Narrow Alley is the favorite place for young locals with “Petty Bourgeois Sentiment”. The alley is a “slow life” area. Not only does it show the old Chengdu courtyard culture but also the romantic atmosphere of modern life. Because lots of stylish bars and restaurants lie in the alley. It attracts plenty of artsy youth and travelers.
- 3.Well Alley(Jingxiangzi)
The Well Alley represents the old Chengdu. Meanwhile, it is close to the Narrow Alley in the south. In the Qing Dynasty, it was Ruyi Alley or Mingde Ally. But it has been changed to the current name after the Xinhai Revolution in 1911. After the reconstruction, the government has built a 500-meter-long brick cultural wall and 500 –meters- long folk wall.
Events at Kuanzhai Ancient Street
- 1. Kuanzhai Alley Tea Party
The tea party starts between March and April since 2009. A series of activities on the theme of tea has been launched. It perfectly blends the traditional tea culture with the modern new life style. The purpose is to make “wide and narrow tea party” a famous tea culture card in Chengdu and a new tea culture place as well.Thus tourists can experience the slow life culture in Chengdu.
- 2. Street Music Festivals
From 2010 to 2015, a plenty of music festivals have taken place in the ally.
The festivals set up a platform for street music to give full play. Besides, it also shows the inclusive temperament of the alley between history and modernity, tradition and fashion.
- 3.New Year’s Eve rock concert
Much original music shows up in the rock concert on the New Year Eve. This music festival has an important place in Chinese’s heart.
- 4. Kuanzhai Alley Lecture Hall Every month the hall will hold a seminar on Chengdu culture. The content is very broad. It talks about life all over the world, history and hot news ect. It is the best opportunity for tourists to experience local life.
- 5. Well Alley Bazaar
The Well Alley has had lots of large-scale theme Bazaars in the past two years from 2008-2010. Plentiful creative people gather there to exchange ideas.
How to Get to Kuanzhai Ancient Street
By Metro: Metro Line 4/Metro Line 2
By Bus: You can take bus 51, 62, 70, 93, 126, 127, 163 or 340, 5, 13, 43, 47, 51, 58, 64, 64 Express, 78, or 163