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Gongming Old Market

Shenzhen Daily


Old market.jpg

Gongming Old Market, formerly known as Fair Market, was founded in 1929 and is located in the subidistrict's Gongming community.

The old market is 204.5 meters long from north to south and 91.6 meters wide from east to west. The arcade buildings are mainly used as department stores, selling food, clothes and other daily necessities. In August 2004, Bao'an District declared Gongming Old Market as the "first batch of immovable cultural relics protection sites."

On July 13, 2012, the area was declared as a district-level cultural relics protection unit by Guangming New District.

According to historical records, the surrounding areas in Gongming had several markets, each controlled by different families. In the early decades of the last century, conflicts of interests intensified among the markets. In 1929, locals then decided to establish a market at the junction of Heshuikou and Shangcun villages. It was named Fair Market, following the model of Hong Kong's Yuen Long Village, which means "fair buying and selling."

In 1931, it was renamed Gongming Market, meaning fairness and brightness.

The market has witnessed the changes of different eras and reflected the important historical stage of the development of Gongming and even Shenzhen from a small fishing village to a bustling coastal commercial city.

Most of the old buildings in the area are two-story arcade buildings, which are the typical architectural style in Guangdong Province.

The buildings are characterized as a combination of European and Southeast Asian styles, and they are well adapted to South China's climate – hot, humid, and rainy. The buildings feature pillars extended to the edge of the road, supporting the structure above and the open space between the pillars become the arcade – an excellent shade against the heat and rain. The ground and the arcade are for commercial activities while the upper floors serve as residences and storage areas. Rows of arcade buildings along streets gives the area an orderly look.

Gongming Old Market is a representative of Guangdong-style architecture, and under the technical conditions of the time, it efficiently met the functional needs of commerce, residence, pedestrian transportation and others. The market has rich characteristics of Eurasian culture – not only with strong traditional Chinese architecture, but also with Western and Southeast Asian architecture and decorative styles. The market thus has an important architectural history and artistic research value.

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