The Shanghai French Concession was a foreign concession in Shanghai, China from 1849 until 1943, which progressively expanded in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The concession came to an end in 1943 when the French State under German pressure signed it over to the pro-Japanese Reorganized National Government of China in Nanjing. For much of the 20th century, the area covered by the former French Concession remained the premier residential and retail district of Shanghai, and was also one of the centres of Catholicism in China. Despite re-development over the last few decades, the area retains a distinct character, and is a popular tourist destination.
The French Concession was established on 6 April 1849, when the French Consul to Shanghai, Charles de Montigny, obtained a proclamation from Lin Gui(麟桂), the Circuit Intendant (effectively governor) of Shanghai, which conceded certain territory for a French settlement. The extent of the French Concession at the time of establishment extended south to the Old City’s moat, north to the Yangjingbang canal ( now Yan’an Road), west to the Temple of Guan Yu (关帝庙) and the Zhujia Bridge ( 褚家桥), and east to the banks of the Huangpu River between the Guangdong-Chaozhou Union and the mouth of the Yangjingbang canal. The French Concession effectively occupied a narrow “collar” of land around the northern end of the Old City, south of the British settlement. At an area of 66 hectares (986 mu), the French Concession was about a third of the size of the British settlement at that time. A further small strip of riverside land to the east of the Old City was added in 1861, to allow the construction of the quai de France, to service shipping between China and France.