Xueshi Road: the route to Knowledge and History

Where in Hangzhou can you find a place with the most profound cultural background? This is an easy question for Hangzhou natives, but visitors may find it difficult to answer, maybe it’s because it’s hard to imagine a place, where ancient scholars once lived, turned into a most densely-populated commercial area, bustling with countless people every day. Well the answer is Xueshi Road (学士路), which, in Chinese, literally means scholar Road.

Past Glory

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a high-ranking official named Jiang Xiao once lived in Xueshi Road. He was born into a prominent family and after death, was awarded the title of “scholar” by the imperial court. There was also a bridge located near Jiang’s mansion which was also named Scholar Jiang Bridge, but was later dismantled and transformed into the current Xueshi Road (scholar Road). This is the origins of the road’s name.

Running in 1912, at the east end of the road, was a very well-known Hongdao Women’s Middle School in which rich families were proud of sending their daughters to study.

Political Link

Behind the Longxiang Edifice and on the middle part of Xueshi Road, a series of Shikumen buildings (石库门) titled “Sixinfang” (思鑫坊) in a combination of eastern and western styles are now on the list of municipal cultural relics under protection. The historical relics relate tightly to the republic of Korea.

In 1919, in order to improve the anti-Japanese salvation movement, the provisional government of South Korea was established in Shanghai, and due to some military reasons, the government moved to Hangzhou until the war broke out three years later. It has also been said that Kim koo, the father of the republic of Korea, once lived in “Sixinfang”, holding meetings and issuing Party newspapers.

Xueshi Road, from one end to the other, connects numerous story-filled roads: Yuewang Road (岳王路), Huansha Road(浣纱路), Dongpo Road(东坡路)…

As time goes by, the road keeps its pace with the times and although the original face is covered by the updated prosperous appearance, the stories that once took place will hopefully be remembered forever.