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June 12, 2010

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Shikumen heritage is honored

THE building art of Shikumen, Shanghai's unique architecture that appeared as early as the 1870s, has been honored as part of the country's intangible cultural heritage.

The Ministry of Culture recently published the third list of national intangible cultural heritage, and included the building craft of Shikumen lanes.

Shikumen, the symbolic architecture of the city, features a wood structure and brick walls.

Developed from wooden lane houses, it combines features of water town residences and Western style. The door frame is usually made of stone while the door is always made of wood painted black.

Historical experts said the style dates from the time of Emperor Tongzhi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The earliest Shikumen building on record in the city was built in 1870. The building was used as a trade company office, said Ma Xueqiang, a researcher of the History Research Institute of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences.

Ma studied archives of Shun Pao, a popular newspaper in Shanghai before 1949, and the records of old trade companies.


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