Credit: Threesixfive Content Ltd
Lilong #191 is the name given to the narrow residential lanes that became popular in Shanghai in the 1860’s and “shikumen” describes the style of house that was most prevalent on these lanes. As Shanghai’s commerce developed rapidly following its classification as a treaty port in 1843, so the population expanded and new housing was needed. The shikumen was the solution. Although modern development has seen the clearing of thousands of such houses, many of the best examples remain and provide the visitor with a glimpse of fascinating architecture and culture as well as an insight into the history of the city. Shikumen Open House #212 in Xintiandi #214 is a small museum showcasing a mocked-up shikumen house the way it would have looked in the old days.