Historic Hóngkǒu

For a mini walking tour of the streets of the Jewish Quarter – aka 'Little Vienna' – surrounding the Ohel Moishe Synagogue, turn right outside the synagogue, then right again past the former Jewish tenements of Zhoushan Rd (formerly Ward Rd), once the commercial heart of the district. At Huoshan Rd (formerly Wayside Rd), head southwest past the art deco facade of the former Broadway Theatre, to the Ocean Hotel. Turn right up Haimen Rd (Muirhead Rd), past Changyang Rd, to what was once a row of Jewish shops and a kosher delicatessen. Until just a couple of years ago, faded painted signs from the 1940s above the shops declared 'Horn's Imbiss Stube' (Horn's Snack Bar) and 'Cafe Atlantic', but the shops were recently demolished.

At the top of the road (the crossing with Kunming Rd), you’ll see the largely rebuilt Xiàhǎi Buddhist Monastery. Take a right turn, then another right, down Zhoushan Rd once again to complete the circle back to the synagogue.

Zhoushan Rd is also home to the British-built Ward Road Jail, once Shànghǎi’s biggest. Used by the Japanese during WWII, it’s still functioning as a prison (renamed Tilanqiao Prison) and is probably as close as you’ll get, or would want to get, to a Chinese detention facility.

If you’re interested in learning more about Hóngkǒu’s Jewish heritage, contact Dvir Bar-Gal, an Israeli Shànghǎi resident who offers informative English and Hebrew tours of the area.