A history-telling clock in the Five-Avenue Area
Going sightseeing along Tianjin's Five-Avenue Area while seated in a horse-drawn carriage offers the opportunity to see a truly unique cityscape.
The area, which has earned a reputation as a "World Building Exposition", has become a destination for visitors, which truly showcases the city's charm and history.
The Five-Avenue Area is a rectangular region in Heping district. It is south of Chengdu Street, north of Machang Street, east of Xikang Road, and west of Machang Street and Nanjing Road. The area's 22 roads stretch for 17 km.
The Tianjin Department of Historical Building Protection says Five-Avenue Area features more than 230 buildings with different European architectural styles.
These include 89 English-style buildings, 41 Italian-styled ones, six French-style ones, four German-styled ones and three Spanish-styled ones. In addition, there are 46 courtyard houses, 40 apartment buildings, five Western-styled structures, and three buildings featuring fusions of Western and Chinese styles.
Another thing that makes Tianjin's Western buildings fascinating is the people who once occupied them.
In the Five-Avenue Area alone, two of China's presidents and seven premiers or acting prime ministers resided here from the 1920s to the 1930s.
In addition, more than 200 celebrities also had lived in the area, such as renowned educators Yan Xiu and Zhang Boling, and industrialists Zhou Xuexi, Li Zhuchen and Song Peiqing.
(China Daily September 27, 2008)