Shanghai is older than the foreign concessions. For 700 years it was a merchant city, a colony of leisure gardens and a multicultural hub. The opening of the ports in 1843 redefined Shanghai as a global city. As the urban core moved to the Bund and inland, the Chinese City fell into decline and faded from memory. But today, as Shanghai’s old lanes keep disappearing, the question of city identity brings us back to a ‘Shanghai’ that’s far older than the French Concession or the Bund.

Talking about Shanghai’s history, one can’t skip the Former French Concession and its numerous fantasy Art-Deco buildings. It was home to many Chinese and international intellectuals, business elites, ambitious  politicians and powerful gangsters.

Walk on the traces of those who made history in Shanghai, Chinese and international figures alike, uncovering the secrets of a multi faceted city through the layers of time.


  • Forgotten Shanghai – Past and Present with history and art lover Nicolas Grevot
  • Tracing Shanghai’s Jewish History – From Peace Hotel to Wartime Shanghai with architect Fanny Hoffmann-Loss
  • “Boulevard Moscow”: Scandalous Russians in Old Shanghai with journalist and photographer Katya Knyazeva
  • On the Traces of Sino-Foreign Encounter with Scholar and Author Dr. Ines Eben von Racknitz
  • A Stroll down China’s Revolutionary Roads with Scholar and Author Dr. Andrew Field
  • The Hotel and Theater District of Old Shanghai and the Birthplace of China’s Jazz Age with Scholar and Author Dr. Andrew Field
  • Hongkou: Intellectuals, writers, common people and East Asian Relations in a Nutshell with German author Dr. Marcus Hernig