Sanfang Qixiang

 Name: Sanfang Qixiang, Three Lanes and Seven Alleys, Sanfangqi Alley Tourist Center
 Chinese Name: 三坊七巷
 Construction: Initially built in the Jin Dynasty (265-420), shaped in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and Five Dynasties and Ten States (907 - 960) and prospered in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
 Area: 100 acres (40 hectares)
 Location: At the central area of Fuzhou.

Sanfang Qixiang is the only remaining old quarter of Fuzhou. Preserving over 200 ancient folk houses mainly from the Ming and Qing dynasties, it is reputed as the “Architecture Museum of the Ming and Qing Dynasties”. Since its construction in the Jin Dynasty, a great many of scholars have lived here. Therefore, Sanfang Qixiang is also known as the origin of history and culture of Fuzhou.

Sanfang Qixiang consists of three lanes, seven alleys and an axis street named Nanhou Street. The three lanes including Yijin Lane, Wenru Lane and Guanglu Lane are to the west of Nanhou Street. The seven alleys are located to the east of Nanhou Street, which are Yangqiao Alley, Langguan Alley, Ta Alley, Huang Alley, Anmin Alley, Gong Alley and Jibi Alley.

Nanhou Street

Nanhou Street is the axis of Sanfang Qixiang, which is about 1,095 yards (1000 meters) long. Besides, it is a business street where people can buy the daily necessities they want. What’s more, book shops, stores that mount pictures, and a lantern market for Chinese festivals are scattered here. Former Residence of Ye Zaiqi, a famous scholar in Qing Dynasty, is situated at the southern part of Nanhou Street. Facing south, it is in a mixed style of Ming, Qing and the Republic of China (1912-1949).

Yijin Lane

Yijinfang is the first lane of Three Lanes and Seven Alleys. The most distinctive building here is Waterside Stage. It is a single-floor wooden platform facing an attic. The interior roof of the stage is carved with cranes in the middle and bats around, symbolizing happiness and longevity. The stage is square and has 35 square yards (29 square meters), under which is a pond that is full of water all the time.

Wenru Lane

Wenru Lane is famous for those celebrities who once lived here including generals, scholars, poets, jurists and the teacher of the emperor. The drawing room of the You Family Residence at Wenru Lane is representative of all drawing rooms in the Qing Dynasty. Nowadays, the residence is called Fuzhou Ship Cultural Hall. Inside it, over 10 models of Fuzhou ships are on exhibition.

Guanglu Lane

Guanglu Chant Platform, as Guanglu Lane’s best-known attraction, has a beautiful pond, a pavilion, flowers, trees and Cliffside Inscriptions. There are some other ancient buildings lying at Guanglu Lane, such as Courtyard of Liu Family that is big and mainly made of wood, Zaoti Road that has high wall, and a bridge with a pavilion on it. They all have the characteristics of Ming and Qing Dynasty’s construction.

Yangqiao Alley

Yangqiao Alley is the northernmost alley of the seven alleys. There is a Shuangpao Bridge at the south. Each side of the bridge has a banian, both of which grow toward each other. Finally their branches join together and give us a natural shelter. The locals said that these two trees used to be two lovers. Now the river under the bridge has been filled and the bridge has changed into a pavilion for people to rest or taste tea.

Langguan Alley

Langguan Alley is located to the south of Yangqiao Alley. Former Residence of Yan Fu, a famous educationist in China, and Double Plum Study House sit here. Double Plum Study House is famous for its two plum trees and now is a folk custom museum.

Ta Alley

Walking southward from Langguan Alley, you will come to Ta Alley. It is said that the Chinese emperor built lots of little towers here and “tower” in Chinese is “ta”, so this alley named Ta Alley. Former Residence of Wang Qi, a famous brigadier, is located at the west part of Ta Alley. The house is used to display art works now.

Huang Alley

Keep walking to the south of Ta Alley, you will meet Huang Alley. Xiaohuang Pavilion, situated at the No.36 of Huang Alley, is the landmark here. The drawing room of it is a double-floor attic with a timber frame. Beams are carved with dragons and phoenixes. Doors and windows are made of Phoebe zhennan. A half pavilion stands to the east of Xiaohuang Pavilion. Twelve delicate bells are hanged under the circumference.

Anmin Alley

Anmin Alley is to the south of Huang Alley. Former Residence of Yan Family is situated here. It is now used for exhibiting golden phoebe furniture.

Gong Alley

Gong Alley gathers many houses of rich families. They have exquisite sculptures. The flower patterns on the windows are hollowed-out. All kinds of ingenious stone carvings can be found on column bases, footsteps, doorframes and pillars. Former Residences of officials Lin Congyi and Liu Qixian sit here. Former Residence of Lin Congyi now is a museum that exhibits a large number of lacquer wares and paintings. Many ceramics and instruments are displayed at Former Residence of Liu Qixian now.

Jibi Alley

Jibi Alley is the southernmost alley of seven alleys. There are Ancestral Temple of Xie Family and rows of stilt houses projecting over the river. The front door of the temple is very delicate, with a pair of blue stone carvings on its top. They are the relics of Ming Dynasty, which are seldom seen in Fuzhou.

Transportation

1. Nanhou Street, Yangqiao Alley: Visitors can take the bus line 5, 18, 22, 27, 61, or 128 to “Sanfang Qixiang”. Please remember that all these buses do not stop at “Sanfang Qixiang” on the back journey.
2. Visitors can go to Nanhou Street by tour bus line 1 which departs from 9:00 to 12:00 and 14:30 to 20:30 every 30 minutes.
3. Wenru Lane: You can take the bus line 66.
4. Guanglu Lane: Tourists can take the bus line 16, 18, 27, 61, 77, 109 or 105 to “Provincial Film Company” or line 66 to “Guanglu Lane”.
5. Langguan Alley & Nanhou Street: Take subway line 1 to Dongjiekou Station, Exit B. Walk west for about 300 yards.
 
Admission Fee The public area is free of charge, and the following places need tickets.
Waterside Stage, Xiaohuang Pavilion, Former Residence of Lin Congyi: CNY 20 for each
Former Residence of Yan Fu, Courtyard of Liu Family: CNY 15 for each
Former Residences of Wang Qi, Guo Boyin, Yan Family and Ye Zaiqi: CNY 10 for each
Former Residences of Xie Family and Liu Qixian: CNY 5 for each
Combo Ticket for all above: CNY 120
Children less than 3.9 feet (1.2 meters): Free of charge
Opening Hours Ticket Area: 8:30-17:00
Free Area: All day

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