Nan Luo Gu Xiang stretches from the Gulou East St. in the north and to the Di'anmen East St. in the south with 786 meters long and 8 meters wide, Nan Luo Gu Xiang was built in 1267, the same time when Yuan Da Du was constructed. It was a component of the market area in Yuan Da Du(the Yuan Beijing)'s urban layout, which had the imperial government built in the front, the market area at the back, the imperial ancestral temple on the left, and the sacrificial altar on the right. The lane was part of the Zhaohui Community in the Yuan Dynasty, and served as the dividing line between the Zhaohui Community and the Jinggong Community in the Ming Dynasty. It was under the jurisdiction of the Xianghuang Banner during the Emperor Qianlong's reign, and belonged to the Left III Community in the late years of Emperor Guangxu's reign and the reign of Emperor Xuantong. It belonged to the Inner V Community during the time of Republic of China.
The lane was called "Luoguo(henchback) Lane" in the Ming Dynasty due to its "henchback" feature with the middle part higher than the both ends. In 1750, the lane got a homonymic name of "Luogu Lane", and was divided into Nan Luo Gu Xiang and Northern Luogu Lane (now within the Andingmen Community). The name of the lane remained "Nan Luo Gu Xiang" during and after the time of the Republic of China. The Hutong was briefly called "Huihuang St." during the Cultural Revolution and later regained its current name.
Nan Luo Gu Xiang was built under the architectural concept of "residential blocks" -- with the lane serving as the axis dividing 8 parallel Hutongs on each side,thus forming the outline of a fish skeleton, or a "Centipede ",therefore, the lane was also called "Wugong (Centipede) Lane". Nan Luo Gu Xiang is the only remaining traditional residential area in China that still fully preserves the chess-board style layout of Hutongs typically found in the Yuan Dynasty, with its scale, quality and historical value unmatched by any other lanes.
Nan Luo Gu Xiang was among the first 25 areas listed for historical preservation by the Beijing Municipal Government in November 1990. Currently, within the Nan Luo Gu Xiang area, one site has been listed for national level preservation, 11 sites for municipal level preservation, and 10 sites for district level preservation. With its impressive historical and cultural legacy, Nan Luo Gu Xiang has become a renowned e area for tourism and cultural creativity in the ancient capital of Beijing.