The Bund is one of city’s most recognizable architectural symbols and a representation of both old and new Shanghai. Located on the west bank of the Huangpu River, the 1 mile-long (1.5 km) waterfront boulevard was the site of some of the earliest foreign settlements. After the end of the Opium War in 1842, the Bund became one of five “Treaty Ports” in the Treaty of Nanjing. In the late 19th century, it was the financial and political center of the international community and was known as “the Wall Street of China”, historically reminiscent of colonial-era Shanghai.
After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, many of the old tenants left, leaving historic buildings empty for decades. Today, the riverside row of brownstones enjoys a new vitality and is still home to many of the city’s hotels, bars, and banks.