The Mingqing Street in Pingyao Ancient Town stretches 750 meters (2460 ft.) in length with almost one hundred shops and local houses built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The traditional shops and houses are still well preserved. They were all built with bricks and stones completely using the style of Ming and Qing architecture. As such they are representatives of most ancient buildings in China that still survive and offer a stark contrast to the architecture employed today.
Why the Mingqing Street is special
Since the early 19th century, the ancient Mingqing Street has served as the strategic gathering place for businessmen of Shanxi. Reputed as the "Wall Street of China", the street collects headquarters of more than 20 exchange companies, taking up 50% throughout China in its golden days. No it is located at the South Street in Pingyao and is the city's most important heritage.
Today the Ancient Mingqing Street is home to the biggest antique market in the province. All kinds of trading takes place along the street. In addition to souvenirs, tourists will enjoy sampling some of the numerous local snacks, including noodles, specially seasoned beef, as well as tasty Wantuo.
Mingqing Street highlights
Ming and Qing Dynasty style and features
The Mingqing Streets is broad and very well arranged. Dotted with memorial archways and sculptures, the old houses and courtyards flanking the streets and lanes remind visitors of the long past and their ancestral places. Walking along the Mingqing Streets, you seem to have landed in a world beyond the present one, and imagine how dynamic and prosperous the Shanxi Commercial Group once was.
18.5 meters in height, and situated in the town centre, the City Tower (also called Gushi Tower) is the highest building within the main street. Once there was a will under the tower and the water gleamed like gold, so the tower is also named “Golden Well Tower”. It is said the marketing was going on around the tower all day long. It is only known that the tower was renovated in 1688 during the Emperor Kangxi Period of Qing Dynasty, but nobody could tell the when it was built nor its history. Nowadays it is an important historic site protected by the Shanxi provincial government.