Top 10 historical streets in China

By Xu Lin
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, December 15, 2011
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For hundreds of years, China's ancient streets have recorded the country's history and culture against a backdrop of change and development. The streets have retained the layout, architecture, and even the lifestyles of ancient times. 

The following are the top 10 historical streets in China which contain the most vivid and richest memories.

 Barkhor Street in Lhasa (拉萨八廓街)

Barkhor Street in Lhasa, one of the 'top 10 ancient streets in China' by

Barkhor Street in Lhasa

Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a well-preserved circular street area surrounding Jokhang Temple. Its religious and cultural flavor means that it is a popular destination for both pilgrims and locals. The area is also a business center.

With a history of over 1,300 years, the street was built and developed in concert with Jokhang Temple. Jokhang Temple was built in 647 by the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617 - 650), and it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. The large number of pilgrims gradually wore a path, which was the origin of Barkhor Street. To this day, many pilgrims can be seen there holding prayer wheels and walking clockwise around the temple from dawn to dusk.

Composed of 35 major or small streets, the street has a circumference of roughly 1,000 meters. It is paved with hand-polished stone boards, and traditional Tibetan buildings stand on both sides, giving a traditional flavor of Lhasa. Despite its relative narrowness, the street accommodates thousands of tourists every day and has become a symbol of Lhasa.

Numerous shops stand on both sides of the street and thousands of vendors can be found on every corner, selling religious articles, traditional Tibetan clothes, Tibetan knives, 'Thangka' (Tibetan scroll painting) and other souvenirs.

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