Introduction to the Peking Foreign Legation Area Circa 1941 Overlay

Peking Foreign Legation Circa 1941 Overlay

Peking Foreign Legation Circa 1941 Overlay

Here is a map overlay of the Foreign Legations area that shows the layout of the embassies, the related compounds, and other known commercial interests in 1941.  It is laid over the present day Google Maps satellite view of Central Beijing, China. This way you can see what parts of the old Foreign Legation Quarter have been built over, paved over, or replaced with new buildings.

As an example, the American Glacis is completely under Tiananmen Square now and most of the Russian Embassy Compound is home to the new Supreme Peoples Court of China building complex.

Most of the information used to construct this layout is taken from notes and maps published by Chester Biggs in “Behind the Barbed Wire”. I have added from my personal observations on the ground in Beijing.  I will improve this as I have time and new information.

Please use this in SAT MODE, as the Google MAP MODE and SAT MODE do not agree. Using in MAP mode will show everything 1800 feet out of place.

View Peking Foreign Legation Circa 1941 Overlay in a larger map

Key to Overlay Elements

Government Embassies and related compounds, glacises, and any outside buildings are shaded in the related colors.

An exception has been made for US Marine and US Embassy related areas.  All US Marine related is shaded yellow, and all US Embassy related is shaded red.

Any areas not related to an embassy, but possibly commercial in nature, are shaded with gray.  Some, as on the west side, were believed to be Chinese ministries.  Others are possible embassies that have not been verified.

Pins of buildings and landmarks of interest have been added.  Some are buildings that existed before the Boxer Rebellion, and their locations are noted here for historical perspective.

If you have any comments or additional research I can use, please complete the contact form at

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