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Suzhou Lingering Garden
Lingering Garden, also known as Liuyuan, is located at the outside of Changmen Gate in Suzhou City of Jiangsu Province. As the best preserved among all the Suzhou gardens, It is also one of the four most famous gardens in China. The Lingering garden was recorded as the World's Heritage Site by UESCO in 1997.
The Lingering Garden was built originally a classical private garden in 1460. With a history of more than 500 years, the Lingering Garden has changed hands several times. Each owner did his best to perfect it. The garden was first built in 1593 during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) by a retired official named Xu Tai. During the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), it was bought by Liu Shu. As a calligraphy lover, he carved masterpieces on both sides of the corridors of the buildings. He had also collected unusually-shaped stones in the garden. The succeeding owners followed his model when doing restoration work. Almost demolished in the 1930s, the garden was repaired sponsored by the government and then opened to the public.
What to see ?
Occupying an area of 5.8 acres , it is one of the four most famous gardens in China. Possessing typical Qing style, it is well-known for the exquisite beauty of its magnificent halls, and the various sizes, shapes, and colors of the buildings.The Lingering Garden is exceptionally beautiful. The whole garden is filled with small hills, caves, rockeries, paths and pavilions. Entering the garden, you will be first greeted with the sounds of Chinese traditional instruments: pipa, er"hu and sanxian. There are music performances in many places of the Lingering Garden which make the garden come alive.
The Lingering Garden can be divided into four parts according to the style of the structures: the central, eastern, western and northern parts. Of the four parts, the central part is the essence of the whole garden.These four parts are connected by a 770-yard (about 700 meters) long corridor on the wall of which calligraphy carved on the stone can be found.
Of the four parts, the central part is the essence of the whole complex. This part was the original Lingering Garden while the other three were added during the Qing Dynasty.
After going through winding corridors from the gate, one reaches the central part. The central part is divided into two parts: the western part and the eastern part. The former features in pools and hills while classical buildings dominate the latter. The Celestial Hall of Five Peaks in the eastern part is the largest hall in the garden. The western part is enchanting for its natural scenery. It is a large rockery built from stacked stones and soil during the Ming Dynasty. Maples cover the hill. When all the leaves turn red in autumn, it is extraordinarily beautiful. The northern part used to be a vegetable garden, but now is used to exhibit potted plants of which the Suzhou people are quite proud.
Address: No. 338, Liuyuan Road, Jinlu District, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Admission Fee: CNY 40
But Routes: Tourism No. 1 and 2, No. 11.
Opening Hours: 7:30-17:00