Xujiahui 徐家汇

Occupying the south-eastern corner of the Former French Concession, Shanghai's Xuhui District, is nucleated upon the sparkling Xujiahui urban hub, successfully developed as a special economic area from the 1990s, and now one of the city's most popular shopping districts. 

Catholic influence in the area dates back to the 17th century, when Xu Guangqi (1562-1633), a talented Ming Dynasty scholar-official and friend of Matteo Ricci, converted to the faith. This legacy has left its traces in the gothic St. Ignatius Cathedral, Zikawei Library, Convent of the Holy Mother Catholic nunnery, and Jesuit-founded Xuhui High School. A small park devoted to the memory of Xu Guangqi is situated behind Xujiahui Cathedral (on Nandan Road). 

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Xuguangqi Park 徐光启公园

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Xuguangqi Park 徐光启公园

Xujiahui is visually announced from afar by the twin giant lipstick-shaped towers of its Grand Gateway mall, one of Shanghai's most dynamic consumption palaces. Its other striking modernistic structure, embedded in the center of the hub, is the giant glass globe of the Metro City electronics mall, which is especially mesmerizing when swathed in its nocturnal illuminations. The Xujiahui malls are well-provisioned with a dazzling variety of generally-affordable restaurants, as is the engagingly walkable Tianyaoqiao Road, leading south from the hub. 

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Grand Gateway Mall 港汇广场

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Metro City 美罗城

While Xujiahui fizzes with urban excitement, a wrapping of tranquility is provided by its neighboring parks – Xujiahui Park immediately to the east, best known for its resident black swans, and the smaller Xuhui Park across Hengshan Road. The north-eastern stretch of Hengshan Road, between Gao'an Road and Taojiang Road, is one of the city's favorite night-spots, with a particularly lavish speckling of dining venues and bars. 

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Xujiahui Park 徐家汇公园

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Black Swans in Xujiahui Park

The main campus of Shanghai Jiaotong University neighbors Xujiahui, to the north. The university was established in 1896 by imperial edict as the Nanyang Public School. It acquired its present name in 1949, and has grown to encompass five campuses. One of China's most highly-esteemed educational institutions, it produced the Academic Ranking of World Universities (until 2008).  

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Shanghai Jiaotong University 上海交通大学

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Old Building in Shanghai Jiaotong University

Shanghai Stadium, located in the south of the Xuhui District, is one of the city's most important venues for sporting events (especially soccer matches), musical performances, and other mass spectator attractions.

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Shanghai Stadium 上海体育场

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Shanghai Stadium 上海体育场