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Special> 60th Anniversary of The People's Republic of China> Discovering China> Shanghai
UPDATED: May-9-2009 NO. 19 MAY 14, 2009
Shanghai Landmarks
The city's architecture, like Shanghai itself, combines the classic and the modern

WORLD OF BEAUTY: Under a blue sky, Shanghai People's Square shows its charm (CFP) 

Best of the old and the new

The Bund, Yuyuan Garden and Xintiandi are called Shanghai's three main landmarks.

Located along the Huangpu River, the Bund (Wai Tan) is considered a must-see attraction that stretches from the Garden Bridge to the Nanpu Bridge, which connects Tangqiao Area in Pudong to Yuyuan Garden Area in Puxi. With more than 20 buildings of different architectural styles adorning the area, the Bund is called the "museum of international architecture."

Yuyuan Garden is perhaps the region's most famous classical landscape. It is located in southeast Shanghai's Anren Street, not far from the Bund. The garden was established in 1559 and finished in 1577 by a Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) government official named Pan Yunduan. Today, the area around the garden has become a hot business center of Shanghai. The famous Yuyuan Tourist Mart is to the south of the garden, selling traditional Chinese-style commodities such as red lanterns, porcelain and Qipao (Chinese style frocks).

Located in the center of Shanghai, Xintiandi has become a tourist attraction that holds the historical and cultural legacies of the city. Shanghai Xintiandi is a fashionable pedestrian street composed of Shikumen, a style of housing in Shanghai that blends features of east and west, and modern architecture styles. Xintiandi is unique because of the concept behind its construction. It retains the antique walls, tiles and exterior of the Shikumen housing of old Shanghai. Its interior, however, embodies a totally different world of international galleries, bars and cafes, boutiques and theme restaurants.

Skyline redefined

With the development of the Pudong New Area, the Oriental Pearl Broadcasting and TV Tower, the Jinmao Tower and Shanghai's World Financial Center, located in Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone, have become the city's new landmarks.

The Oriental Pearl Tower stands by the banks of the Huangpu River. It is in the center of Lujiazui, opposite the Bund. The 468-meter-high TV tower is the tallest in Asia and the third highest in the world. The designers set the 11 spheres of various sizes up from the green grassland to the blue sky with two giant spheres shining like two rubies. There is a revolving restaurant in the upper 267-meter-high sphere. The restaurant revolves a single time every hour.

The 88-story Jinmao Tower was completed in 1999. It is 420.5 meters high and covers an area of 2.3 hectares (5.68 acres). The skyscraper's architect, Adrian D. Smith, combined elements of traditional Chinese culture with modern style, making Jinmao Tower one of the best-constructed buildings in China. The building includes modern offices, the deluxe five-star Grand Hyatt Shanghai Hotel, exhibition halls, banquet halls, an observation deck and entertainment facilities.

Completed on August 27, 1998, the Shanghai World Financial Center is 492 meters high, contains 101 stories and is the highest building in China. There is a 55-meter-long observatory pavilion on the 100th floor, which sits higher than the world's highest observation deck—Canada's 447-meter-high CN Television Tower.

Public spaces

Squares are always good exhibits of a city's characteristics. In Shanghai, the showpiece public spaces are People's Square, Grand Gateway Plaza and Super Brand Mall.

People's Square is one of the most famous city squares in China. It is located in the center of Shanghai. In the square's northeast stands the Shanghai Urban Planning Exhibition Hall. The Shanghai Grand Theatre is in the northwest of the square. Between the two buildings stands the City Hall. In the south stands the Shanghai Museum. People's Avenue runs through the square and a large lawn sits in the middle. Many pigeons can be seen flying here and there. Below the square sits China's largest underground shopping mall.

With a unique style, the Grand Gateway Plaza is a 21st-century Shanghai landmark. It is one of the biggest shopping malls in the center of Shanghai, offering many Chinese and world-known brands. The Grand Gateway Office Towers have attracted many well-known enterprises and foreign celebrities to settle in them.

The Super Brand Mall, the biggest shopping mall on the Chinese Mainland, is beside the Huangpu River and adjacent to the Oriental Pearl and Jinmao towers. With 20,000-square-meter stores featuring world-class names and a 4,000-square-meter jewelry gallery, the Super Brand Mall has gathered more than a thousand brands from home and abroad.

Beautiful streets

Roads and streets with different styles make up the main structure of Shanghai and show the city's colorful characteristics.

Nanjing Road is China's premier shopping street and one of the world's busiest. The history of Nanjing Road can be traced back to 1851. At that time it was called "Park Lane," which comes from the area of the Bund to Henan Road. In 1854, it was extended to Zhejiang Road. In 2000, Nanjing Road was renovated to become a characteristic pedestrian street, which extends from Middle Henan Road to Middle Xizang Road. There are many Chinese traditional stores, including the famous Shanghai No.1 Department Store, Yong'an Department Store, Sincere Department Store and the New Department Store. Also on West Nanjing Road sit Shanghai's top business centers, such as Meilong Zhen (Westgate Mall Branch), Citic Square and Henglong Plaza.

Built in 1901, the 6-km-long Huaihai Road is located in the center of Shanghai. It is a trendy and fashionable street matched only by Paris' Champs Elysees, New York's Fifth Avenue and Tokyo's Ginza. Huaihai Road holds more than 400 stores, including many internationally renowned department stores such as Paris Spring, the Japanese Isetan and Parkson's.

Fuzhou Road is different from other streets in Shanghai. Before 1949, there were different kinds of buildings crowded on the street, including administrative institutes, bookstores, tea houses, restaurants, hotels and brothels. After 1949, especially in the 1990s, Fuzhou Road was gradually rebuilt into a unique cultural street with all kinds of book and stationery stores, including China Science and Technology Books Corporation, Shanghai Cultural Commercial Building, Foreign Language Bookstore, Classical Bookstore, Long March Surveying Instruments Store, and Shanghai Artistic Goods Shop.

Hengshan Road was built in 1892 and was once called Avenue Petain, a famous road in the French Concession. Hengshan Road was given its name in October 1943. Today, it is known for hosting some of Shanghai's most booming nightlife. Besides, it is also a leisure street with music stores, publishing houses and art galleries.

High culture

Besides the well-known Shanghai Museum, the city has also built many medium- and small-sized regional, personal and industrial museums. By the end of 2010, the number of museums in Shanghai will reach 150.

The Shanghai Museum is dedicated to ancient Chinese art. It was founded and first opened to the public in 1952 in the former horse-racing club at 325 West Nanjing Road. It later moved into the former Zhonghui Building at 16 South Henan Road. The Museum possesses a collection of 120,000 precious works of art, including ancient bronzes, paintings and sculptures.

Shanghai's History Museum is located on Hongqiao Road. It was opened in May 1984 and formerly known as the Shanghai Historical Relic Exhibition Hall. Today, it holds more then 30,000 cultural relics including ancient local cultural relics and more than 18,000 modern pieces, reflecting changes throughout the history of the city.

The Shanghai Natural History Museum was built in 1956. The museum houses a collection of 240,000 samples, including over 62,000 animal specimens, 135,000 plant specimens, 700 Stone Age relics and 1,700 mineral samples. There are also extinct and rare species which cannot be found elsewhere outside China, such as a Yellow River mammoth, a giant salamander, a giant panda and a Yangtze River alligator.

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