The Morris Estate / Ruijin Hotel Shanghai

The French Concession (上海法租界 / Shànghǎi Fǎ Zūjiè) district in Shanghai was established in 1849, when the French Consul to Shanghai obtained a proclamation from the Governor of Shanghai which conceded certain territory for a French settlement; the concession came to an end in 1943. This area is drove the “Paris of the East” reputation Shanghai had throughout the 1930s. Today, the best known section of the French Concession district is Huahai Road, home to many of Shanghai’s upscale shops.


As part of our self-guided walking tour, we headed over to the former Morris estate, now the Ruijin Hotel. The estate was built in the 1920s by British businessman Benjamin Morris, owner of the North China Daily News. The buildings are a tangible representation of China’s history of European occupation and a fantastic example of the city’s unique Colonial-era architecture. After Mao Zedong launched the infamous Cultural Revolution in 1966, many of the brutal excesses were directed by Mao’s wife Jiang Qing and other members of the Gang of Four. Before she was arrested in 1976, Jian Qing lived and ran the Cultural Revolution from the Morris estate.

The hugely popular bar, Face, used to occupy Building No. 4 before losing its lease last year. There has been some controversy over plans to tear down some existing structures to build a much larger hotel on the property as its quiet, lush gardens are extremely popular amongst Shanghai residents.

118 RuiJin 2nd Road
Shanghai, China 200020

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