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Niu Jie Street

Niu Jie Street

Niu Jie Street is a street that goes from Guangan Gate in the north to Nanheng Street in the south in Xuanwu District, Beijing. It is famous for its Niujie Mosque which is the oldest and largest Islamic mosque. Niujie Mosque is a blend of Chinese and Islamic architectural and religious structures.

Along Niu Jie Street, there are many Hui minority people (Muslims). This street is the largest area inhabited by Muslins in Beijing. The name originated from its first name which was “Liu Jie” because there was a garden of pomegranates there. Later, because the beef sold by the Hui people tasted so good and became renowned, they added “Liu” (pomegranate) and “Niu” (Ox) which sounded simila renaming it to “Niu Jie.”

First built in the Liao Dynasty, the Niujie Mosque was restored in the Qing Dynasty. When it expanded in 1442 during the Ming dynasty, the mosque was known as Libaisi (Temple for Worship). In 1442, Niujie Mosque was also called “Niujie Libaisi.” On its 1,000th year anniversary in 1996, the Municipal Government of Beijing undertook major repairs to the Niujie Mosque. As a result, it is now considered a cultural site under special protection.

Despite the fast development and modernization of Beijing, many Beijing people miss the small lanes that were easy to find with small and privately operated Muslim restaurants that offer a profusion of Muslim specialties including beef and lamb.