Nanhou Street locates in Gulou District, Fuzhou. Nanhou Street starts from the intersection of Yangqiao in the west and the crossing of Jipi Lane and Macau Road in the south. The total 1000-meter street is the central axis of "Three Lanes and Seven Alleys" in Fuzhou. In history, Nanhou Street has gathered many traditional craft stores, such as lanterns, paper cutting, and bookstores. It is the National 5A Class Scenic Spot.
The protection and restoration project of Nanhou Street was completed in January 2009. The renovated Nanhou Street remains the antique charm. The width of the pavement reaches to 12 meters and the pedestrian street stretches a width of 7 meters in the middle, forming a leisure and cultural commercial street combining traditional and modern styles. The walk street is paved with stones. Numerous shops along the street reveal the ancient charm of Ming and Qing dynasties. With the reconstruction of Nanhou Street, many stores of modern or Western brands such as coffee house, bar and luxury goods are also stationed in the ancient area.
What to see at Nanhou Street?
Many celebrities' former residences or ancestral halls are located on the Nanhou Street. Among them, Yan Fu's Former Residence, Bing Xin's Former Residence, and Lin Zexu's Ancestral Hall are the most popular three that tourists could not miss.
Bing Xin's Former Residence is also the former residence of Lin Juemin, who was a martyr during the 1911 Revolutionary. The former residence faces to the east, surrounded by the high walls. There are the bamboos, calyx canthus and wisteria in the courtyard, forming elegant and quiet environment. After Lin Juemin passed away, his father Lin Xiaoying sold the house and led the family move to the outskirts of Fuzhou in order to escape the pursuit of the Qing armies. The Xie Family bought this residence then. Bing Xin, also named as Xie Wanying, a famous female writer once lived here in the 1920s.
Yan Fu, a famous thinker, educator and translator in modern Chinese history. In 1992, the Fuzhou Municipal Government announced Yan Fu’s Former Residence as the provincial protected unit. In 2001, Shanghai Datang Art Company donated 1 million RMB to restore the former residence and arrange the relevant exhibitions.
Shen Baozhen's Former Residence was built during the reign period of Emperor Tianqi of Ming Dynasty. Shen Baozhen (1820-1879), is Lin Zexu's son-in-law, once served as governor of Jiangxi and Fujian Provinces. The former residence sits to the south, with a large scale and rigorous layout. There are many exquisite decorations inside the residence in traditional architectural styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Covering the total area of more than 2,800 square meters, the construction area is 2,000 square meters.
Lin Zexu's Ancestral Hall was built in 1905 of the late Qing Dynasty. The tall archway-style gate is awesome and magnificent. There is a pair of stone lions in front of the gate, which are vivid and majestic. The total exhibition area of the memorial hall expands from the original 3,500 square meters to 8,500 square meters nowadays. The new exhibitions include 5 themed display areas, which introduce the life of Lin Zexu and highlight his personality charm.