青岛 Qīngdǎo

Life note: Met the first deadline on my masters dissertation! Busy wrapping up some drawing sets for the office, serving as a teacher’s assitant for a four week workshop taught by RISD & PRAUD’s Dongwoo Kim, relocating my jogging habit, and ramping up my Chinese studies.

 

青岛 Qingdao

To progress with my 2013 summer travels: after Qufu I continued on to Qingdao, a major port city in eastern Shandong province. Some of the friendliest and unpretentiously intelligent people I’ve met around China are from Shandong, and I’d heard early on that Qingdao was a clean, beautiful city, a cool respite in the summer. After Qufu‘s heatwave I was excited to get to the coast. Like other older Chinese port cities, Qingdao has an interesting history concerning foreign powers. Germany took control of Qingdao in 1898 and considering the colonial period only lasted 16 years (1898–1914) a remarkable legacy of German architecture and culture remains.

The following photograph features the 栈桥 Zhànqiáo pier and 回澜阁 Huílán pavilion, a symbol of the city initially constructed in 1891. Unfortunately it was under repair (or fortunately, 小霖子 assures me, as it gets really crowded) so this was as close as I got.


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圣弥爱尔大教堂 St. Michael’s Cathedral

More commonly known as 天主教堂  aka the “catholic church,” the cathedral was built in 1934 by the Divine Word Missionaries. It was either under renovation or closed for the evening by the time I arrived so I didn’t go in. Romanesque revival or pre-brutalist in style.

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基督教堂 Protestant Church

Finished in 1906, the building orginally served as the Office of the Governor. The interior conveys the same dense feel that its squat form and thick stone walls might suggest, however the clock tower had a fun array of devices (clock mechanism and weight mechanism) and was the perfect perch for people watching. Are the wacky wavey lines in the plaster a German thing?

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青岛啤酒厂 Tsingtao Brewery

Besides the friendly people, clean air, cool weather and good seafood, beer bags were definitely my favorite Qingdao phenomenon. For convenience and expense, people tote around their recently purchased beer in plastic bags. I didn’t manage any photographs because I was too busy being enamored. At any rate, the prevalence of beer in Qingdao is mostly due to the Tsingtao Brewery. German colonists founded the Tsingtao Brewery in 1903, and it is now the second largest brewery in China and probably the most recognizable brand of Chinese beer abroad. If you’re not familiar, Tsingtao Beer is a well-hopped standard pilsner. Does that logo look familiar? It’s the Zhànqiáo pier and Huílán pavilion from above. I went to see their museum and old brewery, which included samples. The manniquins were enjoyably creepy, the beer fountain was spectacular but, actually, the thing that has stayed with me is the evolution of the brand’s logo: which, at the point the Japanese controlled the city, included Japanese nationalist imagery.

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