The Old Tientsin
Tientsin: The city with nine separate foreign concessions. Foreign Treaty Ports within Chinese Imperial Cities
The city of Tianjin (Tientsin) occupies a unique position in Chinese history. In the second half of the 19th century, it became the most important commercial city in northern China, having been opened as a treaty port in 1860, as a consequence of the Treaty of Beijing that the defeated Qing Government was forced to sign at the end of the Second Opium War (1857-60).
The treaty port of Tientsin was not only one of the original five treaty ports, but part of a second wave of 11 treaty ports that were forced open by the 1858 Treaty of Tientsin, which ended the Second Opium War, and called, over and above the treaty ports, for the opening of the Foreign Legation quarter in Peking.
Between 1860 and 1945, Tientsin consists of 9 separate foreign concessions, each with their own unique aspects, each functioning side by side, as well as being temporarily home to a multinational military government (1900–02). During that time, Tianjin became the second-largest industrial and commercial city in China after Shanghai, the largest financial and trade centre in the north, as well as one of the most vibrant commercial centres in Asia
Tientsin (Tianjin) Settlement Railway Station Circa 1900
Tientsin Street View Circa 1900
The earliest of the Imperial powers to set up shop in the city were the British and the French in 1860. The rest soon followed suit. Of all of these concessions, the British, French and Japanese concessions were the largest and the most dense. The German, Austro-Hungarian and Italian concessions were small, but their respective imperial powers invested heavily into architecture and infrastructure. The Belgian and Russian concessions, in contrast, were not really invested in and today, remain the least architecturally interesting.
The list of concessions and how long they lasted, is as follows:
The British Concession (1860 – 1943)
The French Concession (1860 – 1946)
The Japanese Concession (1898 – 1945)
The German Concession (1899 – 1917)
The Austro-Hungarian Concession (1901 – 1917)
The Italian Concession (1901 – 1947)
The Belgian Concession (1902 – 1931)
The Russian Concession (1903 – 1920)
Note: If you cannot find the answer to your question. Please post questions on Forum. We check the forum page almost daily. We would try to answer all questions and expand existing pages.