The Main Street

Harbin's Main Street, also called "Central Street", is a pedestrian-only cobblestone street. The 1.4km-long street is a veritable museum of European style architectures, including Baroque and Byzantine facades, Jewish architectural wonders, little Russian bakeries, French fashion houses, American snack food outlets, and Japanese restaurants. Central Street was part of the original town built by the Russians about 110 years ago. You'll find some shops with Russian products, international restaurants, and two megamarkets, Walmart and the French Carrefour. This was a center for Jews in Asia, and the city was a refuge for Jews, "White" Russians, Mennonites, and people of other groups in Europe and Asia where they could freely practice their religion and build their own businesses and industry.
When the town was first built by the Russians to service a railroad route they built around the turn of the 20th century, this was one of the main streets. It was originally called "Chinese Street".  Also in 1898, the city began constructing its railway station and also beginning its large scale construction planning of the city. The original name for Central Avenue was called China Street but changed its name in 1928. The avenue is 1,400 meters long and 11 meters wide and extends from the Songhua River to Xinyang Square. In recent years, several restaurants and stores along the avenue have been remodeled and redecorated to improve the sense of feeling in the city and making the avenue more appealing.

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