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Beijing Hutongs

john  —  February 21, 2012

Hutongs, narrow lanes or alleys lines by courtyard housing, form traditional residential fabric in the historic center of Beijing. The Hutong — the term is derived from the Mongolian word hottog (water well) — came into being during the Yuan dynasty (1271 to 1368), when China was absorbed into the Mongol Empire. Most of Beijing’s remaining Hutongs date back to the Ming dynasty (1368 to 1644), which established Beijing as its capital city in 1421 on the site of the original Yuan capital.

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