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Walking with the writers in Shanghai

By Liao Fangzhou (Global Times)

10:20, May 17, 2013

Duolun Road in Hongkou district is known as Shanghai's street of left-wing writers and is also a showpiece of a variety of international structures. (GT/Cai Xianmin)

Duolun Road is best known as Shanghai's street of left-wing writers - many of the country's great and influential writers wrote and lived here in the 1920s and 1930s. But the 550-meter road, now a pedestrian zone, has had a checkered history in the city. Located in Hongkou district with the bustling commercial area of Sichuan Road North to the south and Hongkou Football Stadium at the north, Duolun Road has been running its L-shape course for just over a century.

Up until 1904 the winding thoroughfare was farmland - paddocks and scattered trees. In 1904 Sichuan Road North was established, bringing homes and business and development to the area. In 1911 John Darroch, a British missionary, began constructing the road in the then American concession. He broadened the narrow street on the south and reclaimed the small creek on the west, and named it Darroch Road after himself.

After the official handover of all the concessions in the summer of 1943, the road became one of the 245 concession streets or roads built by foreigners which were renamed by the government of Wang Jingwei, the president of the Japanese-backed puppet regime. Along with most Shanghai streets being renamed after other places in China, this road was called Duolun after the distant county in today's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

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