Logmenhao Old Street is located in the central section of Nanbin Road, under the Dongshuimen Bridge. It covers an area of more than 180000 square meters, and while the place may have been recently rebuilt, the location has a history that dates back more than 1000 years. Longmenhao is one of the oldest and best-preserved old streets in Chongqing, where you can experience the port culture, cultural relics, and Bayu Culture.
BACKGROUND & HISTORY
Longmenhao contains the essence of Chongqing culture, a model of historical and cultural heritage. During the Southern Song Dynasty, Longmenhao became a wharf and the political center of Sichuan Province (which, at the time, included Chongqing), moved here from the city of Chengdu. This meant that agricultural products, war supplies, and porcelain had to be transported to the Northern Bank of the Yangtze River through the Longmenhao Port.
During the reign of Emperor Qianlong and Jiaqing (1736-1820), the Longmenhao coastline had become a bustling and important pier, and ferry boats dedicated to pedestrians began setting up here as well. During the Xianfeng period of the Qing Dynasty (1851-1861), foreigners settled in the South Bank. On March 1, 1891, foreigners from Britain, France, Japan, the United States, and Germany flocked to Longmen Hao to open businesses, set up factories, and build villas. Longmenhao became the first Western Industrial Center in Chongqing. The Commercial Port of All Nations also became the first place where Chonqing’s national industry set sail.
During the War of Resistance against Japan, Chongqing became the capital of China, and Longmenhao became one of the sites for foreign nations to establish their embassies and consulates. With businesses booming, the population in the area soared.
When Chongqing opened up to the world in 1890, Longmenhao became the first inland port in Chinese History, and since then, ships had berthed at the docks here. The streets flourished with trade, restaurants, shops, and diplomatic missions.
“Hao” originally refers to the water area separated by the moraine at the river bank. It is said that during the Shaoxing years of the Song Dynasty, the Characters “Long Men” engraved on a rock in the Yangtze River would appear in the dry season when the water levels were lower. Hence the name, Longmenhao.
The docks and wharf have long along been replaced with newer development, and the original site of the piers is now a road. The Dongshuimen bridge towers above, linking the Ba’Nan district with the Yuzhong peninsula, and a sprawling city has appeared, but Longmenhao has recently been rebuilt in its old architectural style and form.
OLD STREET AND ARCHITECTURE
One of the main reasons you should come to Longmenhao is to enjoy the old-style streets beautifully rebuilt in traditional architecture. The street doesn’t quite have the same old feel as places like Ciqikou or Longxing Ancient town, but it still offers a great escape from the modern city. The streets are lined with shops, museums, and restaurants, and there are many entertainment options inside the scenic area.