Three Lanes and Seven Alleys in Fuzhou （福州三坊七巷）
Three Lanes and Seven Alleys in Fuzhou
Located in the downtown area of Fuzhou, Fujian Province, the Three Lanes and Seven Alleys (Sanfang-Qixiang) is a street district with a cluster of ancient residential buildings and is the largest well-preserved historical heritage site in China, covering an area of 40 hectares.
Divided by Southern Street as the central axis, the original three lanes were in the west and the seven alleys are in the east. The layout dates back to the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, almost 1,000 years ago. The street is unique as the only existing street district in China bearing this pattern. Running from north to south, the lanes refer to Wenru Lane, Yijin Lane, and Guanglu Lane, and the alleys refer to Huang Alley, Gong Alley, Yangqiao Alley, Langguan Alley, Ta Alley, Anmin Alley, and Jipi Alley.
The lanes and alleys were home to hundreds of houses built by built by wealthy people in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and 159 buildings remain well-preserved to this day. AS a result, the district has been nicknamed "an architecture museum of the Ming and Qing dynasties." The houses were built with ancient, huge bricks and decorated with seashells, which were easy to get because of Fuzhou's coastal location. The ornaments, wood carvings and stone carvings all testify to the buildings' past glories. .
The area has been home to many famous people, including politicians, military leaders, writers and poets. Some of their descendants still live there now, keeping the living style of their ancestors. Jiqi Alley, Yangqiao Alley and Guanglu Lane have now been reconstructed into driveways, and only two lanes and five alleys remain.