Yandaixie Street

Yandaixie Street (Tobacco Pouch Tilt Street), also called Yandaixiejie or Yandai Byway, is a famous commercial street specializing in the sales of tobacco pouches, calligraphy and paintings and jade articles during the Qing Dynasty (1616 - 1911). It is the oldest business street in Beijing with a history of about 800 years. Yandaixie Street is a 232m northeast-southwest Hutong, which is different from other east-west or north-south Hutongs, so it is named “Xiejie” (tilt street). 

In the Qing Dynasty, there were many tobacco shops where government officials and soldiers often purchased tobaccos and smoking sets. Moreover, the street itself looks like a tobacco pipe. The eastern end resembles a pipe mouth, the western end looks like a small tobacco bowl, and the narrow main street is similar to the long pipe stem. In this sense, the name Yandaixie Street matches well with the reality. During the late Qing Dynasty and the early period of Republic of China (1912 - 1949), Yandaixie Street reached its peak time when over 80 stores were opened, including tea houses, wine houses, tobacco stores and curios stores, and it has become a gathering site for antique dealers since then.

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