Meeting Place: in the lobby of Novotel Xinqiao Hotel, northwest corner of Chongwenmen intersection, Dongcheng District, Beijing.
Please note that there are more than one Novotel Hotels in Beijing.
The tour ends at near the Qianmen Subway Station by the southeast corner of the Tian'anmen Square.
How to get there: Chongwenmen Station Exit A, blue Loop line of Beijing Metro (Subway).
Hotel Telephone: 86 10 65133 366 (this is hotel reception for directions only, not for tour booking)
About the Peking Legation Quarter
It was the area in Beijing where a number of foreign legations were located between 1861 and 1959. In Chinese, the area is known as Dōng Jiāo Mín Xiàng which is the name of the hutong (lane or small street) running through the area. It is located immediately to the east of Tiananmen Square.
Following China's defeat in the Second Opium War in 1856-60, the Zongli Yamen was established as a foreign office of the Qing and the area around Dong Jiangmi Xiang was opened for a number of foreign legations.
The foreign legations were originally scattered close to the Qing imperial government in the southern part of Beijing's old inner city, just east of Tian'anmen Square and north of Qianmen and Chongwenmen. During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, the Legation Quarter became the center of an international incident as it was besieged by boxers for several months. (See: Siege of the Legations, Beijing 1900) After the siege had been broken by the Eight-Nation Alliance at the end of the Battle of Peking, the foreign powers obtained the right to station troops to protect their legations under the terms of the Boxer Protocol. The Legation Quarter was encircled by a wall and all Chinese residents in the area were ordered to move out. Sealed off from its immediate environment, the Legation Quarter became a city within the city exclusively for foreigners and many Chinese nationalists resented the Quarter as a symbol of foreign aggression.
In 1937, upon the eruption of the Second Sino-Japanese War, most foreign legations, apart from those of the Axis Powers, quit Beijing. The Legation Quarter was then officially handed back to the Republic of China government. At the time of the establishment of the People's Republic of China (1949), a number of foreign legations were still situated here, but after 1959 foreign missions were moved to Sanlitun outside the old city walls.