The Astor House Hotel (formerly known as the Richards Hotel) is located to the north side of Waibaidu Bridge, a well-known landmark at the Bund, Shanghai. The hotel was built in 1846 (the 26th year of Daoguang reign) by a British man, Richards. It was the first western hotel in China, and enjoyed the reputation of “the finest hotel in China”. The Astor House Hotel is a distinguished gathering place for both Chinese and foreign political figures, as well as well-known celebrities. Dignitaries such as Albert Einstein, Charlie Chaplin, Russell, and Zhou Enlai, have all stayed at this hotel.
The Astor House Hotel is a place where Chinese culture and western civilization converged. The first electric lamp, the first telephone, the first semi-sound film, and the first Western-style social dance all made their debut in China at the Astor House Hotel.
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