Also referred to as Dashanzi Art District, this transformed former military factory has become the beating heart of Arts and Culture in China´s capital. From local artists to beautifully appointed craft stores, museums and galleries, Factory 798 is equally impressive in sightseeing and as a unique shopping experience! And, I had one of the best cappuccino ever there…
It is a huge industrial complex and you can easily spend an entire day just walking around the premise discovering. From free-standing art, extraordinary facades and amazing shops selling local craftsmanship and products, Dashanzi Art District also features and array of restaurants and bars to take a break from all the visual appeal.
Having begun production back in 1957, the factory had been built as a joint venture between China, the Soviet Union and East Germany. Aiming to display the brotherhood between the three Socialistic countries and quickly becoming one of China´s most thriving factories ever built.
While the production focused mainly on military equipment, workers also manufactured acoustic parts for the Worker´s Stadium and the Great Hall of the People. All of the loudspeakers featured on Beijing´s famous Tiananmen Square were also built at Dashanzi.
The factory seized operation in the late 1980´s and was transformed into today´s Arts and Culture complex over the years. By 2007, it was officially decided that Factory 798 would not be closed and demolished, but would continue its current serving with the government funding expansion in the future.
A wonderful contrast to the historic sites of the city as it gives a beautiful insight into the modern understanding of Chinese creativity and culture. Eye-opening if you still believe that “Made in China” is solely limited to mass-produced fashion or plastic toys.
To get there, either take a taxi or subway line 14 to Jiangtai station. From there, it is about a 20 to 25 minutes walk.