Built up in 1899 by Russians, Zhongshan Square is the oldest square in Dalian. Its name evolved from the "Nicholas Square" under Tsarist Russian concession, to "Big Plaza" within the Japanese colonization, and then "Zhongshan" (the formal name of Mr. Sun Yat-sen) after the Liberation (1945).
The square is also the first musical square in China. In 1995, 36 sets of audio systems were equipped around it. At every dawn and dusk, people crowd here to play Chinese chess, kick shuttlecocks, dance, do Taijiquan or see an outdoor movie, watch an entertainment show or enjoy concerts companied by the flowing music in the air.
About 100 years ago, a group of Russian architects fascinated with France culture came to Dalian with the construction blueprint of Paris. They dreamed about rebuilding an oriental Paris here, hence the architectural style of the city was formed--to take squares as the center and radiate outwards, with Zhongshan Square being the focal point.