Ancient Culture Street
Ancient Culture Street is lying in Nankai District at the west bank of Hai River, covering 22,000 m2 and being 580 m long. It was built in 1986 and open to tourists at the same time, which show the appearance of cities in Qing Dynasty in China.
There are over hundreds of stores in the street, specializing in Yang Liuqing New Year Painting, the treasures of the study (writing brush, ink stick, paper, and ink slab), famous calligraphy and painting, craftworks, etc. A giant archway inscribed with the words "an Old Neighborhood of Tianjin" stands at the entrance to the street, and behind the archway is a street of 600 meters long lined with buildings in the Qing-dynasty architectural style. There are so many different buildings that the eye cannot take them in all at once. Walking by these buildings with grey walls and decorated with colorful streamers is like walking into the past. The most note-worthy things are the boards inscribed with the names of shops and with couplets at the shop fronts, which are written by famous calligraphers.
Tianhou Palace stands centrally in the street. Tianhou (Heaven Queen) is the goddess of the sea and is well know by other names like Mazu in other parts of China. Two booms outside the gate of Tianhou Palace are already 600 years old. The square in front the palace is big enough to hold a thousand people. Built around the square are arts and ballad halls, where fine performances are given on almost all festival days. A spectacular "Imperial Festival" is held in and around the square every year on the 23rd day of the third lunar month.
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