Laomendong locates in the Qinhuai District, east of the Zhonghua Gate in Nanjing. It is also called the East Zhonghua Gate Historical and Culture Block. As a National 5A Scenic Spot, Laomendong is a historic site in the southern part of Nanjing Old Town. It is now a historical and cultural block, with distinctive, traditional century-old stores, bars, restaurants, etc.
Laomendong is located in the east of the Zhonghua Gate; that’s why it got the name of Mendong, which in Chinese means gate east. It is a significant part of Nanjing landscape along the Qinhuai River.
Dated back to Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), there were some residential houses in Laomendong area. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Zhonghua Gate and the inner Qinhuai River areas became the economic center of the Nanjing city. Laomendong is very near to these areas, so it became an important distribution center for commerce and trade in the past, which showed a great prosperous scene.
Today, Laomendong has become a famous historical and cultural block in Nanjing. It starts from Changle Road in the south, reaches the Ming Dynasty City Wall in the south, and extends to Jiangning Road in the east. This area covers an area of about 700,000 square meters totally.
On the principle of preserving the historical buildings and cultural relics, some old factory houses were transformed into Nanjing painting and calligraphy academy, Jinling art museum, etc. The traditional Chinese wooden buildings and Ma Tau walls were reconstructed in accordance with traditional styles, in order to restore the original appearance of the old town.
Jingling engraving scripture, Nanjing Baiju Opera, Deyun Society, and such folk crafts including hand-made kites, fabric painting, bamboo engraving, cutting paper and marionette are all available to see here. It still maintains the ancient architectural designs and the cobble stone streets.
Also, many traditional delicious snacks of Nanjing can be found here, such as Meihuagao dessert, Ice Douhua, soup bun, Nanjing duck and sour cream.
In the evening, various kinds of lanterns light up the old block, making it a peaceful and harmonious destination.