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April 14, 2010

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Grand old hall regains its glory

SANSHAN Guild Hall, a century-old model of artistic Chinese architecture, opened to the public yesterday after renovations, beginning a new incarnation as a destination and performance venue for Expo visitors.

The hall, located next to the World Expo site in Huangpu District, will host a Kunqu Opera classic - "The Peony Pavilion" - an epic love story written in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

"The play will be presented every evening during the Expo period except on rainy days," said Wang Shuming, director of the guild hall administration.

The magnificent red-brick Sanshan Guild Hall was built by Fujian fruit merchants in 1909.

It was closed for restoration to its early grandeur in 2008.

The renovation restores the Fujian-style architecture, including its great hall, shrine to the sea goddess, and spectacular performance stage.

The Shanghai Guild Hall History Exhibition Hall, next door, features the history of many guilds. This commerce-driven city once had more than 300 guild halls, which became gathering sites for business, worship, socializing and the arts.

As one of the few well-preserved guild halls, the Sanshan grand hall will offer a good opportunity for Expo tourists to learn about Shanghai, as 40 percent visitors are expected to enter the Expo site in Puxi through the nearby Bansongyuan Community.

The is on Zhongshan Road S. under Nanpu Bridge. It is open from 9am to 5pm. Tickets cost 10 yuan (US$1.46).


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