Russian Roots

Harbin once had a population of 300,000 people, with 100,000 of these inhabitants of Russian heritage. Although over 100 years have passed and its population has grown to be mostly Han Chinese now, the effects of Harbin's sizable Russian population still remain visible.  中央大街 (Zhong yang da jie), or Central Street,  is one of the longest no vehicle streets in China, with much European influence in its architecture. Along 中央大街, you can find many Russian bakeries, restaurants, and novelty stores.DSC_0048DSC_0085 A few miles east of 中央大街 is the St. Sophia Cathedral. After Mao's Great Leap Forward, this cathedral was shut down as a place of worship and turned into an architecture museum.

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