December 17th, 2019


R. I. P. Wangyima Lane 王医马弄 (900s–2019)

Wangyima Lane 王医马弄 neighborhood was the last patch of medieval city fabric in central Shanghai. Nowhere else in the old town – not even in the glorious Qiaojia Road 乔家路 neighborhood, built up in the late 16th century and now also condemned – you could see such extreme fragmentation of ownership, which resulted in very oddly shaped and narrow alleys bending around the old properties. The earliest known landmark in Shanghai proper – Guangfu Temple, built in the tenth century – once stood in this area.

There are chapters on Wangyima Lane and Guangfu Temple in Shanghai Old Town. Vol 2. The Walled City; there is not much else left. Sasha Drozdova has been visiting Wangyima Lane and recording its last stones before they turn to dust: