Tianqiao Market has a history of 600 years as a bustling market place. There used to be a stone bridge here over which the Ming and Qing emperors used to pass on their way to sacrifice at the nearby Temple of Heaven, hence the name Tianqiao (Heavenly Bridge).
Tianqiao Market was formally set up in 1914 by a group of merchants, who constructed seven lanes lined with stalls. By 1930, there were 773 registered stalls and restaurants, as well as a cinema. This market catered mostly to local people of the lower classes.