Laomendong Historic District, Nanjing – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location and Highlights

laomendong historic district

Laomendong (老门东), located to the east of Zhonghua Gate in Nanjing, is a place of historical significance and cultural heritage. Its name, “Laomendong,” translates to “East of the Gate,” vividly depicts its location. Laomendong has a long history as a hub for traditional dwellings, a gathering place for merchants, and a residence for distinguished families in the region.

Laomendong dates back to the Three Kingdoms period about 2000 years ago. During the Ming Dynasty, Zhonghua Gate and the inner Qinhuai River area became the economic heart of the city, making Laomendong a vital center for commerce and craftsmanship. The district thrived, presenting a bustling and vibrant scene. In the late Qing Dynasty, Laomendong, along with Laomenxi and other old areas in the southern part of the city, gradually transitioned into residential areas, preserving the traditional architectural style of Nanjing’s old southern city.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour0.5 – 1 hour
Ticket PriceFree
Opening Hours7.00 – 22.00
Telephone Number0086-025-52209788

Location and Transportation

Laomendong Historic District is situated in the heart of Nanjing, one of China’s most historically significant cities. Located in the southern part of Jiangsu Province, Nanjing is approximately 300 kilometers west of Shanghai.

Laomendong itself is nestled within Nanjing’s urban center, near the Qinhuai River. The district is part of the larger Confucius Temple Scenic Area, which encompasses several historical sites and landmarks. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 14, 46, 701, or 706, get off at Gutong Alley Stop (箍桶巷), and you will be standing at the north end of the district.

Metro: The nearest metro station to Laomendong Historic District is Wuding Gate (武定门) on line 3. After getting out of the state from Exit 3, walk about 500 meters to reach the district.

Highlights of Laomendong Historic District

Ancient Stone Archway

laomendong gate

The iconic “Laomendong” stone archway stands at an impressive 17 meters in height. It is adorned with exquisite stone carvings using the hanging technique. These carvings, meticulously crafted by artisans from Huian, Fujian, depict scenes of musical instruments, chess, calligraphy, painting, plum blossoms, orchids, bamboo, chrysanthemums, and a jade ruyi scepter. The base of the archway also features intricate cloud motifs. Flanking the archway, a pair of couplets reads: “In the marketplace, the atmosphere is saturated with the essence of the Six Dynasties, where commoners and nobles inscribe the timeless grand narrative.” These lines beautifully encapsulate the grandeur and the historical depth of Nanjing’s city life through the ages.

Nanjing Street Food

local markets and shops in laomendong historic district

Laomendong is renowned for its street food, with an array of famous establishments like Jiang You Ji (Jiang’s Fried Dumplings), Ji Ming Tangbao (Chicken Soup Dumplings), and Lao Da Tang’ouzhou (Lao Da’s Sweet Taro Soup), offering a delectable journey into Nanjing’s culinary delights.

  1. Shen Ji Chou Doufu (Shen’s Stinky Tofu): Recommended for: Those willing to brave the lines for a truly mouthwatering experience. Shen Ji Chou Doufu is undoubtedly one of the best stinky tofu dishes you’ll ever taste. Don’t forget to try their fried tofu as well!
  2. Jiang You Ji (Jiang’s Fried Dumplings, First Branch): Recommended for: The renowned potstickers here might require a wait, but their crispy exteriors and tender insides, accompanied by a flavorful broth, are truly worth the patience.
  3. Si Ji Doufu Nao (Si Ji Tofu Pudding): Recommended for: While the lines are long, the tofu pudding here is smooth and well-prepared, making it a must-try for those seeking a delicate yet satisfying treat.
  4. Ji Ming Tangbao (Chicken Soup Dumplings): Recommended for: This place is always bustling, and you might have to wait for a seat. However, their soup dumplings are exceptional, featuring thin skins and flavorful broth.
  5. Huang Qin Ji (Huang Qin’s Cold Noodles): Recommended for: Huang Qin’s cold noodles are a beloved childhood memory for many locals. Even though the price has increased from 1.5 RMB to 10 RMB over the years, the taste remains consistent, featuring firm and flavorful noodles.

Street Sculptures

traditional architecture and courtyard house in laomendong historic district

Around the “Laomendong” archway, you’ll find four sets of street sculptures: the Huangbao Cart Puller, Tang Yumiao (a traditional snack), an old mailbox, and schoolchildren heading to a private school. These sculptures depict figures dressed in Ming and Qing Dynasty clothing, offering a vivid representation of everyday life in Laomendong during those historical periods. Furthermore, the preservation area is set to unveil a series of street sculptures that depict scenes of traditional life.

Vlog about Laomendong Historic District

Attractions Near Laomendong

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