People's Park, 人民公园

People's Park, 人民公园 Renmin Gongyuan, is deserted in the afternoon sun. The park was built on the site of the old race course that was a favorite spot for all sorts of events before 1949. The race course occupied 18,525 acres or 7,500 hectares. Built in 1862, it served not only the racing fans, but was used as a military parade ground, and hosted celebrations such as the coronation celebrations for George V and George VI in 1911 and 1937 respectively. Racing ceased when the Japanese entered the city in 1941. Following the Anti-Japanese War (1937-1945), Chiang Kai-shek addressed a throng of 200,000 people at the race course.

In 1949 the race course was closed again, razed, and in 1951 the People's Square was opened. In 1952 the People's Park was opened in the northern section. It had the potential to be the equivalent of Central Park in New York, Hyde Park in London, or even Tiergarten in Berlin had had there been more space. As it is, it is a rather formal garden rather than a park.

China Index >> Shanghai, Bund, and Pudong >> People's Park, Shanghai

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Last update: February 2007
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