This street is named for the 10 princes” mansion and
their sweet-water well that was built during the Ming
Dynasty. It was forbidden in those days to dig wells at
random near the Imperial Palace. According to the principles
of Chinese geomancy, the position of a building or tomb
in relation to its natural landscape affects the fortune
of its occupants. Drilling into the earth near the emperor's
home without allowances for fengshui (wind and water)
might have brought ruin to the royal family. As the only
well in this neighborhood, and because it was prized as
a scarce commodity, the well was closely monitored by
the resident aristocracy.
The street, forever a trendsetter, has been reformed
to a mostly pedestrian shopping mall, although bus services
still use the street otherwise closed to vehicular traffic.
The best-known shop is the Beijing Department Store.
To the north of the department Store is the One World
Department Store, which features a collection of Chinese
and foreign name brands and fine quality products. Sun
Dong An Market is the largest market in Beijing with 100,000
square meters of floor area housing more than 200,000
kinds of goods.