Niujie Street

The Niujie Street area is an inhabit region of Muslims in Beijing. The main attractions in this area are the Libaisi (Mosque) and the snack street.The Niujie Mosque  is the perfect mixture of the classical Chinese palace construction style and the Arabic mosque construction style, and is one of those high-quality historic buildings in China. According to the ancient books’ records; the mosque was constructed in 996AD and expanded its scale in Yuan Dynasty initial period. In Chenghua Period of Ming Dynasty, the mosque got the name “Libaisi” (weekly temple) from the emperor. During the Emperor Kangxi Period of Qing Dynasty, it was restored. The Libaisi we see today is designed in Ming and Qing Dynasty architectural style and occupies a land area of 6000 square meters.
Without splendid domes, without minarets reaching into the sky and the dazzling patterns, the Libaisi is composed of wooden structures in classical Chinese architectural style. And the mainly constructions are arranged in an axle. The main constructions from west to east are the Manyue pavilion, Libai Palace, the Bangke Bldg and so on. However, many Arabic mosque elements are used in details, plenty of plant patterns, geometry patterns and Arabic writings are used for decoration due to the religious belief of Muslims.

Besides the buildings, there are many historical cultural treasures in the Libaisi. The two graves of Arabic Islam elder, the signboard of “the Imperial Decree” (in 1694), the antique chinaware incense burner (Ming Dynasty), the chronicle stele, the Koran hand-written copy which is well preserved for more than 300 years, the Qing Dynasty’s copper and so on.

The snacks street is the best known attraction as well as the Libaisi. Islamic food and Beijing traditional snacks are very popular here. The best place to enjoy the snacks is on the second floor of the Islamic Supermarket which sells pure Islamic food only. One of the old shops named “Cheese Wei” has a stall there. Its “Royal Cheese” is very popular. So I am afraid you have to wait in line for a few minutes if you want to buy the delicious cheese!

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