Buildings open for heritage day

Cultural heritage administration arranges for free entry to 100 venues of historical importance in the life of the city.
Buildings open for heritage day
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

Visitors wait outside the newly opened Hengfu Exhibition Hall in Xuhui District which was converted from a historical villa, known as The Cloister, at 62 Fuxing Road W.

A hundred historical buildings across Shanghai will open for free to the public on Saturday to celebrate the Cultural and Natural Heritage Day.

Many of them — mostly cultural relics, former residences of notable persons and historic sites — are usually closed to the public or charge admission.

Highlighted sites include The Cloister at 62 Fuxing Road W. in Xuhui District, which opens as an exhibition hall about the Hengshan and Fuxing roads historical zone, and the Minsheng Art Museum in Jing'an District, renovated from an old and abandoned metallurgical factory. Both structures newly opened to the public this year.

The 80-year-old Yangpu District Library, which once served as the city's library and only opens to those with readers' certificates, as well as the Soong Ching Ling Memorial Residence that reopened early this year after renovation, are expected to draw a large number of visitors.

The memorial and former residence of journalist and publisher Zou Taofen (1895-1944) as well as the former residence of playwright Xia Yan (1900-1995) will be popular with visitors, said Chu Xiaobo, deputy director of the Shanghai Cultural Heritage Administration.

Shanghai has over 3,400 structures under protected status and 80 percent of them are heritage buildings.

However, only 10 percent are open to the public. Most others are private residences or offices, Chu said.

The administration has arranged for 100 of them to open to the public on Saturday, he said, with the full list (in Chinese) available on the administration's website (http://whlyj.sh.gov.cn).

Buildings open for heritage day
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

The former residence of Xia Yan features a retrospective exhibition about the playwright's life.

Over 1,000 events, including exhibitions, lectures and guided tours will be organized this weekend to celebrate the day. 

Meanwhile, 40 tourist routes with five themes across the city will be released on Saturday, according to the city's Administration of Culture and Tourism.

The routes, taking from half a day to two days, will allow visitors to experience the city's intangible cultural heritage, "red tourism," summer resorts and classic architecture, the administration said.

In addition, a variety of summer activities will be launched, the administration said.

They will include outdoor concerts, a lotus and water lily exhibition at Guyi Garden in Jiading District, a summer light festival at Jinjiang Amusement Park in Minhang District, as well as Dragon Boat Festival activities at Zhouqiao tourist attraction, Nanxiang Old Street, Fengjing Ancient Town, Qibao Ancient Town and Zhaojialou Ancient Town.

Lotus appreciation events will also be held at Gucun Park in Baoshan District, while the Playa Maya Water Park in Songjiang District will open on June 15.

Buildings open for heritage day
Wang Rongjiang / SHINE

The Soong Ching Ling Memorial Residence.

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