The renowned Zhongjie Street is the earliest business center in Shenyang. From 1625 to 1631 in the Houjin Dynasty, the brick walls built in the Ming Dynasty which were in the shape of two crossroads were reconstructed and extended to form a Chinese character “井”, because Chinese people used to believe that the emperor’s palace should be located in the center, with the Imperial Ancestral Temple to the left, the Altar of Land and Grain to the right, and the market at the back. These are today’s Zhongjie Street, Shenyang Road, Chaoyang Road and Zhengyang Street).
In the past, Zhongjie Street was named Siping Street, with a bell tower located to the east and a drum tower to the west. It was 579.3 meters long and 11.7 meters wide. As the biggest commercial pedestrian street in Sheyang, the brisk and vibrant Zhongjie Street runs 1,500-meter long, and was lined with numerous malls and department stores. Built 369 years ago, Zhongjie Street was the first commercial pedestrian street in Shenyang and the country beyond.
Since it was opened to the public in the Ming and Qing Dynasties, more than 350 years have passed. In the late Ming Dynasty, Shenyang’s commodity economy was boosted by the surrounding booming horse markets in Kaiyuan, Guangning and Fushun in eastern Liaoning. After it was made the capital of Jin Dynasty in 1625, Shenyang became more prosperous and Siping Street (today’s Zhongjie Street) came into being. Large department stores like Jishun Silk Store and Laotianhe Silk and Satins Shop are grouped in the southern and northern of the street, and various beautiful and colorful small shops are located at the surrounding hutongs.