Shikumen Residence in Shanghai

Why is Shikumen Residencec so Special?

In the 1920′ s and 1930′ s of the last century, enclosure was still the main feature of Shanghai’s residential buildings, but instead of paying attention to sculpture, the pursuit of simplicity was replaced by single-entry instead of multi-entry. shikumen residential buildings, which combined Chinese and western styles, came into being. This kind of building absorbs a lot of styles of residential buildings in the south of the Yangtze River, with stone door frames and black lacquer solid thick wood doors. This kind of building is therefore named “Shikumen”.

Where is Shikumen Residence?

It is basically distributed in the Puxi area of the inner ring road and has a long history.

Main Attraction of Shikumen Residence

Shikumen residence is usually a two-story building made of brick and wood. There is a skylight on the sloping roof. It has a stone door frame and wooden door. Two brass knockers reverberated throughout the driveway when they were hit. Since houses are usually connected, an alley forms naturally. At the end of the alley, you can usually find the traditional arch.

Through the shek mun, you enter a courtyard. the sun illuminates the whole courtyard. The main rooms are on either side of the patio. Just in front of the patio is a living room 6 meters (about 19 feet) long and 4 meters (about 13 feet) wide, where the host meets or entertains their guests. There are two horizontal rooms on each side, from which you can go upstairs. Through the living room, another terrace appears at the table.

The overall frame of the residence is the architectural style of the courtyard in South China. The layout of indoor furniture and necessities is also designed according to typical architectural styles. From the outside, the house looks like a western-style townhouse. In addition, lintels are usually made of traditional Chinese bricks and black tiles. Later, under the influence of western architecture, doors were gradually carved and decorated with triangles, circles, arcs or rectangles. Even the exterior walls are covered with western paintings and carvings.

The appearance of these residences broke through the Chinese traditional lifestyle, under which a large extended family lived in a big courtyard. The new smaller-sized courtyard came into being to lay a foundation for the later Lane Culture. Naturally, Ting Zi Jian (a small room in a building), Ke Tang Jian (living room), Tian Jing (patio) and Seventy-two Guest Rooms are all relevant expressions in the Shikumen culture.

This local culture had a great influence on Shanghai’s politics, economy, literature, arts and lifestyle. The literature school of “Ting Zi Jian” was born at the same time. Later the scholars created a large number of masterpieces. Similarly, the architecture also provided abundant opportunities for art creativity so that many movies and music works were made on their background. What’s more, due to their complicated and diverse residences, the local inhabitants formed a distinct lifestyle, which laid a solid foundation for their diverse costumes, dieting habits and life habits.

Best Time to Travel Shikumen Residence

The best travel time is spring and autumn, usually March-may and September-November.

Catkin, peach blossom and flying warbler are most suitable for outing in the suburbs in spring. Peach Blossoms in Nanhui, Cherry Blossoms in Gu Village Park and Tulips in Shanghai’s Fresh Flower Port are in full bloom. They are the best time to enjoy flowers. Autumn with red leaves all over the sky is the best time to taste hairy crabs. The so-called “autumn wind is ringing and crab legs itch”. At this time, hairy crabs have yellow legs, thick crab fat and beautiful crab meat, which make people drool.

How to Get There

  • ake metro line 1, line 10 or line 12 and get off at South Shaanxi Road. Getting out through Exit 6, walk about 900 m (980 yd) to the museum.
  • Take bus no. 24, 41, 104, 146, 301, 304, 786, 864 or 955 to Shaanxi Nanlu Yongjialu Station. After that, walk for 500 m (about 550 yd) to the museum.

Useful Travel Tips

  • The rainy season is from mid-June to early July, with continuous rain.  From the end of August to the first half of September is the typhoon season, often with sudden storms, these two periods of travel to Shanghai must take umbrellas.
  • The entertainment life in Shanghai is quite rich. The modern facilities and natural scenery in major theme parks and parks make people feel relieved and happy.  Shanghai, as the birthplace of Chinese movies and the host of one of the world’s nine major film festivals, has many cinemas with state-of-the-art audio and video equipment, which can experience incomparable viewing effects.  If you are a fan and fan, then in Shanghai, a series of world-class art venues and theatres will definitely make you feel full of happiness.
  • You can buy a wide range of Shanghai specialties, snacks and handicrafts in Shanghai, such as spiced beans and pear paste candy from the Old City God Temple, which are generally available in local specialty stores and supermarkets.

Nearby Attractions

Recommended Shanghai Tour Packages

Edited by Doreen/张洋