Today’s Qingdao is regarded as one of the most beautiful cities in China. And much of it has got to do with its architectural heritage, which has been remarkably preserved, and is set against a dramatic natural landscape of sea and mountain.
In this post, we explore Old Town Tsingtao, which was built by the Germans at an alarmingly fast rate between 1898 and 1914, when they lost Tsingtao to the Japanese.
There isn’t any specific route here – we start off in the heart of the Old Town, just off the Tsingtao waterfront, meander our way to St Michael’s Cathedral and its environs, pop over to the former foreign consulate quarter, trek up the hill to see the Governor’s Residence up close, before taking another meandering stroll along the waterfront to view some of the most striking of the dozens of colonial-era villas that still stand.
Along the way, the rain comes and goes, the mist comes and goes, but through it all, Tsingtao remains charming and pleasant – truly one of the rare cities in China.
Thankfully, the city has rather meticulously documented its built heritage, and so many of the buildings I’ve been able to identify. A lot of the research has been done in Chinese though – and so where a building is not identified, it is most likely because I am unable to translate the Chinese name of that building.