Qingdao: German architecture

With a couple of friends I took advantage of the long weekend over May 1st recently and embarked on a trip to Chinese city which is slightly less known in Europe: Qingdao. The name probably does not ring a bell, especially the way it is spelt. However, once I tell people that this is where the Tsingtao beer comes from, the bell rings.

The beer was founded in 1903 during the German colonial times. The area was part of a German leased territory from 1898 until 1914 (with the outbreak of the First World War the Japanese swiftly occupied the territory).

Apart from the beer, the German heritage is evident in the architecture of many buildings. In the old town you fill at some points as if you are walking through a Southern German town, only that all signs are in Chinese. I thought that the city has done a reasonably well job at preserving its heritage and while I haven’t visited any other Chinese cities, I am sure it feels unique.

Below are some impressions of our walk around town:

The former Governor's Palace was consequently used as guest house for many statesmen

The former Governor’s Palace was consequently used as guest house for many statesmen

Cute little houses around the historic district

Cute little houses around the historic district

The St. Michael's Cathedral

The St. Michael’s Cathedral

The St. Michael’s Cathedral (or Zhejian Road Catholic Church) was constructed in 1934 after the areas was again returned to Chinese control.

Inside the St. Michael's Cathedral

Inside the St. Michael’s Cathedral

View from the beach towards the shore

View from the beach towards the shore

The buildings along the shore remind me of some towns in Northern Germany – and so did the weather!

Just as a comparison, this is what the Central Business District of Qingdao looks like (pictured is the May 4th monument):

QIngdao Central Business District

QIngdao Central Business District

Quite a contrast, isn’t it!

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5 Responses

  1. December 26, 2015

    […] asked whether I was interested in a weekend in China before year end. I really liked my time in Qingdao a few months ago  and quickly agreed. It was a very spontaneous idea and the initial plan was to […]

  2. June 12, 2016

    […] the past year I’ve traveled to China twice – Qingdao and Hangzhou. Both were weekend trips and yet they required a proper visa which meant going down to […]

  3. August 8, 2016

    […] Singapore Airline Group’s medium-haul, low-cost subsidiary. So far all my flights (Bangkok, Qingdao, Hangzhou and Guangzhou) have all been pleasant, on-time and good value for money. They are […]

  4. October 9, 2016

    […] to former colonies and see what kind of traces there still are from the past. Last year I visited Qingdao in China, which used to be German – quite a unique combination. There are some common combinations […]

  5. October 30, 2019

    […] leading to a special mix of culture and architecture. Examples of this on the blog are the former German colony of Qingdao in China or Portuguese traces in Dili / East […]

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