Directly east of Tian’anmen Square
HOURS: Daily 24 hours
METRO: Qianmen (Line 2)
East of Tian’anmen Square  lies Beijing’s Legation Quarter, which held the offices of foreign diplomats between 1861 and 1959. Today the area is dominated by the Chi’enmen 23 complex—a large courtyard of striking colonial-era buildings that were converted into high-end restaurants, galleries, and events spaces.
During the Yuan Dynasty, the area was known as East River Rice Lane since it was close to the river port where grain imports arrived from the south of China. Tax offices and customs houses sprang up, and the area began to attract foreign legations (a diplomatic office lower than an embassy) after the second Opium War in 1860.
The quarter was badly damaged in the Boxer Rebellion, but many structures remain. Buildings of particular note include St. Michael’s Catholic Church, the Belgian embassy, and the French post office.