Check out our other tours in China that we recommend you to combine during your trip:
Legendary Century Old Road Tour is a travel to the past of china, not only Shanghai. This tour is mandatory to know the city. Join us.
If among the experiences you are looking for is a time trip in China, the Legendary Century Old Road Tour is the best option for you to live and see how the inhabitants of Shanghai lived more than a century ago. The legendary museum of the old French concession, or what they also call Yuyuan Road, is located in an area between the new Xintiandi and the old international center on the Bund, stands as a portion of Shanghai’s history.
It has been preserved for posterity not only for foreign tourists, but also for future generations to see and learn from the past, it is a magical place that transports the visitor to the past to experience local life before China’s “economic miracle”.
The Shanghai French concession was a foreign concession in Shanghai, China, from 1849 to 1943, which was gradually expanded in the late 19th and early 20th century. The concession finished in 1943, when the Vichy French government signed this agreement with the Japanese puppet government in Nanking.
For most of the 20th century, the area covered by the former French concession remained the main residential and commercial district of Shanghai, and was also one of the centers of Catholicism in China. Despite repeated development over the past few decades, the area retains its special character and is a popular tourist destination.
With the Legendary Century Old Road Tour, the visitor discover a lot of surprising things.Read More
The French concession was created on April 6, 1849, when the French Consul in Shanghai, Charles de Montigny, received a petition from Lin Kuei, the Chain intendant (Tao-tai / Daotai, the Governor) of Shanghai, which ceded a certain territory to the French settlement.
The extent of the French concession at the time of creation extended South to the old city’s rata, North to the Yangjingbang canal (Yang king pang, now Yan’an way), West to the Guan Yu temple (Koang ti miao) and the zhujia bridge (Zhou Kia Chiao) and East to the banks of the Huangpu river between the Guangdong-Chaozhou Union (Koang’tong-TCHAO-Tcheou Kong – Hoan) and the mouth of the yangjingbang canal.
The French concession actually occupied a narrow “collar” of land around the Northern end of the Old city, South of the British settlement. On an area of 66 hectares, the French concession was about a third of the size of the British settlement at that time. Another small strip of coastal land East of the Old city was added in 1861 to allow the construction of the Quai de France to serve traffic between China and France.
The first significant expansion of the French concession was agreed in 1899 and proclaimed in 1900, which allowed the French concession to double. The area recently added to the concession immediately went to the West of the original grant.
In 1902, the French introduced from the French London planes (the “le platan” community) as a roadside tree on Yoffre Avenue (present-day Huaihai street). Currently popular as a road tree throughout China, due to its history, it is known in Chinese as the “French plane”.
Meanwhile, since the 1860s, the French concession authorities (as well as other concession authorities) have begun building “off-road roads” outside the concession under the supervision of the French diplomat albert-Edouard Levie de Caligny with the initiative and approval of a letter of support sealed by the Qing authorities.
The first such road was built to connect the Western gate of the Old city with the Catholic fortress at CA-ka-Wei (Xujiayui), to allow French troops to move quickly between the concession and the land of the Catholic Church located in the area.
Controlled by the concession authorities, roads outside settlements effectively gave France and other Treaty authorities a form of control over land that went beyond their official concessions. In 1913, France requested police powers over its roads with settlement, which effectively meant further expansion of the concession.
The yuan Shikai government agreed to grant French police and tax powers over the so-called off-road area in exchange for France agreeing to evict the revolutionaries from the area under its jurisdiction. This agreement, proclaimed in 1914, gave the French concession control over a much larger area between the Old city and Xujiahui, 15 times the size of the original grant.
As a nod to the more numerous Chinese residents in the new territory, two seats were given to Chinese members on the Council of administration. Encouraged by the successful expansion of the French, the International settlement also requested administrative authority over its territory with additional settlements in 1914, but this was refused.
In the 1920s, the French concession was turned into the main residential area of Shanghai. In particular, the expansive and initially sparsely populated “new French concession” obtained in the second expansion of 1914 became popular for foreign citizens of all nationalities, and later wealthy Chinese residents, to build homes on larger plots of land than they could have obtained in the more crowded original concessions.
As demand grew, numerous apartment buildings were built at various levels of luxury, as well as some shikumen residences to meet demand from an increasing number of Chinese residents.
In 1943, during world war II, the Vichy government of France announced that it would withdraw its concessions in Tientsin, Hankou, and Guangzhou. They were transferred to the Wang Jingwei government on June 5, 1943, after which the Shanghai concession was reached on July 30.
After the war, neither Vichy France nor the nationalist Wang government were generally recognized as legitimate, but the new post-war French government recognized that this was a fait accompli in the Sino-French agreement of February 1946. This agreement signed by Chiang Kai-shek’s ruling Kuomintang led to Chinese troops withdrawing from the Northern part of French Indochina in exchange for France renouncing all its foreign concessions in China, including Quang Cheu-WAN.
The former French concession remained largely unchanged during the first decades of Communist rule in China.
However, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, a largely unregulated redistribution of the area destroyed many of the old neighbourhoods.
For example, the London planes that decorated the former Joffre Avenue were removed in the 1990s, but were later replaced after a public protest. The old French club building and its gardens, which used to be a sports field, were gutted and became the base of the high-rise Okura Garden hotel.
Since the 2000s, the government has introduced stricter development and planning measures in this area.
With our Legendary Century Old Road Tour, each participant lives a unique, funny and thrill-filled experience.
As always, we actively recommend registering in our forum, recording your participation in the Legendary Century Old Road Tour so that in this way travellers who will participate in the tour will already get to know each other before arriving to Shanghai, a way to make new friends.
If you have any questions or concerns about Legendary Century Old Road Tour, we will be happy to answer, please contact us.
Also we recommend to register in our forum to get quick answers from our team or other travellers, also to form groups to enjoy better the trip.
Check out our other tours in China that we recommend you to combine during your trip:
1555 Dingxi Road, New World Shanghai Hotel Lobby, near Zhongshan Park Metro Station Exit 5 (Line2/3/4)
In Chinese: 巴黎春天新世界酒店一楼大堂，定西路1555号，近中山公园地铁站五号口
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