How much do you know about Tieban Lane
Street scene of old Tieban Lane
Street scene of old Tieban Lane painted on the wall of the shop
Street scene of old Tieban Lane
CHONGQING (CQNEWS) -- There is no “temple” (寺) in Shangqingsi (上清寺), no “bridge” (桥) of Guanyinqiao (观音桥) and no “hole” (洞) in Hongyadong (洪崖洞)... The place names of Chongqing seem to be inexplicably random, but in fact they are full of sayings after careful study. Today we are going to talk about “Tieban Lane”.
Tiepan Lane is the opposite street of Hongyadong Scenic Area. With the popularity of Hongyadong, it has not only become a tourist channel, but also the most convenient dining street to taste Chongqing hot pot. However, with the rise of popularity, questions about the name of “Tieban Lane” also followed.
Is there any iron plate (铁板) in Tieban Lane (铁板巷)? What is it used for? The reporter of Chongqing Evening News went to find out.
Where is the iron plate of “Tieban Lane”?
Does anyone really care where the “iron plate” is?
“Some people do ask, but we have no answer.”
He Zhengqin, a person responsible to a hotpot restuarant in Tieban Lane told the reporter that last year, he took advantage of the location’s zero distance from Hongyadong, so he rented the space to open the restaurant.
Hoping to fit Hongyadong’s characteristics, he pasted a pair of couplets on the door of the hotpot restaurant. There are old place names on the walls of the hotpot restaurant, the entrance hall has the old gate, and even the dishes are designed into the style of jewelry boxes and suitcases. Many guests therefore regarded him as old Chongqing citizen, pointing to the old city wall in the hall painted on the three words “Tieban Lane” and asked him: The sign is at the entrance of the lane, but where is the iron plate?
He Zhengqin could not answer this question. After many inquiries, he got an answer: It is said that from the late Qing Dynasty to the Republic of China period, because the dwellings here were mostly of wooden structure, for the need of fire prevention, every household was covered with iron door. Thus, there was the name of Tieban Lane.
Is that true?
The historical record
“When it comes to Tieban Lane, I have to mention Hongyadong,” said Li Zhengquan, author of A Miscellaneous Discussion on the Place Names of Chongqing, expert of places name of Chongqing. From Qiansimen to Linjiangmen, there is a cliff with a drop of fifty or sixty meters. The section near Qiansimen is called Hongya. In the Southern Song Dynasty, Peng Daya built Chongqing City and extended the city wall to the edge of Hongya Cliff. There was a rock mansion under the cliff, not deep. Someone chose a deeper place to build a hole with a piece of stone, thus forming a “hole” to protect against the wind and rain.
The terrain of Hongyadong is steep. In the early years, there was no way to walk from the river bank to Dayanggou and Jiefangbei via Hongyadong. You could only detour from Qiansimen or Linjiangmen. During the Anti-Japanese War, a nearly vertical steep path was built here along the rock wall. It was not until after the liberation that a zigzag road was built so that people could walk from the riverside wharf along the Hongyadong to Dayanggou more conveniently.
Tiebanxiang connects with Linjiang Branch Road in the south and Cangbai Road in the north. Streets and lanes were formed in the middle of the Qing Dynasty. From Hongyadong to the current Cangbai Road, to Dayanggou and Jiefangbei, it was one of the main walking passages.
According to the survey of place names, this place was originally a wasteland. In the middle of the Qing Dynasty, the number of residents increased. In 1920, it was originally called Tieban Street. Because some gates were covered with iron sheets, it is said that this place is “The fire can’t burn and the trees can’t live” here. In 1972, when the street name was reorganized, it was changed to Tieban Lane, and it is still in use today.
In addition, Li Zhengquan believed that the so-called “iron” covered on the gate may have a larger shape, which may be a few long iron sheets that are crossed, rather than a whole iron plate. Buildings covered with iron sheets and wooden boards can be seen in many places in rural China. Their role should be to prevent fire and theft, but it is hard to be called a local architectural feature.
Can we play “slide” there?
“I clearly remember that my mother told me that there is really a big iron plate here.” Xiao Nengzhu, a local cultural explorer in Chongqing, grew up in Yuzhong District. In his memory, the origin of the name “Tiebanxiang Lane”, there is another saying.
Xiao Nengzhu’s mother was born at the beginning of the last century. According to his mother’s memory, she often played in this generation when she was eight or nine years old. This time I played “slide” on the iron plate. The surface of the iron plate became very smooth due to the children’s play. Xiao Nengzhu said that, judging from his mother’s description, it should be no less than two meters in length to be an iron plate for “slide”. Because it is embedded on the ground, it is very likely that it is not an iron plate, but an “iron plates”.
“I can’t verify it, but I remember that my mother was very excited and real.” Xiao Nengzhu said that Chongqing folks once said that the places where children like to ride “silde” were the iron cannons and the people in Paotai Sub-district. The iron lions in the park and the iron plates in Tieban Lane. Among the three, the iron plate is the oldest. This kind of folk argument may not be used as direct evidence, but it can also give another possibility for the name “Tieban Lane” from the side.
“Place names of Chongqing are mostly about historical and humanistic stories, which are too interesting.” He Zhengqin sighed after learning about the interpretation of cultural and historical experts. (Translated by Luo Juan, Fathom Language Limited)