Shikumen is a type of residential China tours architecture that came into being with the urbanization of Shanghai. Over the years, these buildings have served as the major accommodation for most Shanghai residents.
Shikumen architecture was first introduced into Shanghai in the 1850s and 1860s. This was a type of building that used less land, smaller quantities of building materials and less money. It usually Yangtze River cruises consisted of three rooms upstairs and three rooms downstairs. The middle room downstairs served as a living room, and the same layout was applied upstairs. Smaller-scale Shikumen buildings were later constructed, with two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs; or even smaller with one room upstairs and one room downstairs.
The door of a Shikumen building was made of thick black wood framed with slates of granite or red stone, hence the name “Shikumen”, or literally Stone Warehouse Gate. Later, to Shangri-la travel cater to the needs of the rich middle class, new style Shikumen housing appeared with high walls and black gates were removed; bathrooms and gas stoves equipped; and the small yard turned into a garden, which is known to people as Renovated Shikumen.
Owing to high rents, a Shikumen building usually housed about six or seven families, and sometimes, incredibly, more than a dozen. The residents usually came from different places across China, to engage in a Shanghai tour package variety of occupations, and with different lifestyles and interests, but all lived under the same roof, thus forming unique scenes of interests.
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