Just wander around the streets of Shanghai and you just might end up standing in front of a building with a glorious story to tell, perhaps East Asia’s second cathedral, or the former residence of a scholar-bureaucrat of the Ming Dynasty who worked closely with the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci, or the house where the Chinese Communist Part was founded.
This 825-m long street, running from Renmin Road to Henan Road, is an important thoroughfare for the Yuyuan commercial area. In the past, it was the site of private banks, gold shops, jewelry stores, wine stores, tea houses, theaters, and firms and was often referred to as the city’s trade center. These days, people can get a taste of some traditional businesses in the coin stores, old-fashioned tea houses, mahogany decorations shop, pawn shops, wine shops, and banks.
Address: Fangbang (M) Rd, Shanghai
Site of the First CCP National Congress
This is a site with great historical significance and importance for modern China, with stone-framed doors and buildings that are typical of the city’s housing in the 20th century. It was here, where the First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party was held, on July 23, 1921, marking the founding of the Chinese Communist Party.
Address: 76 Xinye Rd, Shanghai
Hours: 9:00 -16:00
Xu Guangqi Cemetery and Memorial Hall
Guangqi Park, which lies to the southwest of Saint Ignatius Cathedral in the Xujiahui area, at 17 Nandan Road, is the site of the tomb of Xu Guangqi (1562-1633), a scholar and far-sighted pioneer of science who introduced Western science and Christianity to China.
Xu lived during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and had a thorough understanding of both Chinese and Western culture and did research in the fields of agriculture, astronomy, mathematics, water conservation, and military affairs. The Xujiahui was area that bears his name as a tribute to his contributions.
The Memorial Hall sits inside the Park, in a 500-year-old building, the city’s oldest, originally called "Nanchun Huatang”, which was moved from its original site, to the Park. There are 11 tablets with engravings of Xu's handwriting and some furniture of his on display in the Halhall, which has a computer-generated three-dimensional model of Xu's former residence, and a photographic reproduction of an account of “Xu Guangqi visiting Matteo Ricci at night”.
The exhibit has a detailed description of Xu 's life, scientific contributions, his love of his country, the changes made to the site, and tributes from later generations.
Address: 17 Nandan Rd, Xu Guangqi Park
Confucian Temple and Confucius Square
The temple was built during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), giving it a history of more than 780 years, and underwent several renovations and changes during the following dynasties. The front of the temple has three archways - the Yanggao, Xingxian, and Yucai - with stone balustrades alongside and 72 stone lions.
The main part contains the magnificent Dacheng Hall, with a statue of Confucius and an inscribed volume of his “Analects”. There are carved inscriptions on tablets in the corridor with great archaeological value. The exhibit of Cultural Relics of the Imperial Examinations provides a vivid account of the evolution, and the disappearance, of the imperial exam system.
Address: 183 South Avenue
Sheshan Hill Catholic Cathedral
This cathedral, the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin in China, is a Romanesque structure built in 1857 at the top of Sheshan Hill, in Songjiang district, on 6,700–sq-m of ground, with a height of 20 meters, and a magnificent, if pompous, appearance. It is known as East Asia’s Second Cathedral and draws crowds of worshippers for the masses, every festival of the Holy Virgin, in May.
Addess: Sheshan Hill, Songjiang district