Treaty Port Architecture

Tianjin itself is a museum of European architecture from the turn of the 20th century. One minute you are in little Vienna, turn a corner and you could be in a London street, hop off a bus and you are looking at some vintage French wrought-iron gates or a neo-Gothic cathedral. Be on the look-out for concession-era details: Corinthian pillars, churches, old warehouses and building with lobbies revealing old wooden staircases leading up into dark European interiors.

Walking north along Jiefang Beilu (the section south of its intersection with Ying kou Dao was called Rue De France; north of the intersection it was Victoria Rd) the Astor Hotel (itself a historic building –pop in for a browse), at No.108, is the decaying nobility and wrought-iron balconies of the former Kincheng Bank (Jingcheng Yin Hang, built in 1937).

Another excellent district for travelers to wander around is the area known as Wu Da Dao, an area rich in European-style villas and the former residences of the well-to-do of the early 20th Century.


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