The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林


Chinese Name: 苏州古典园林; 苏州园林

English Name: The Classical Gardens of Suzhou; Su Zhou Yuan Lin

Location: Suzhou city, Jiangsu Province

Type: Classical gardens

Rating Level: AAAAA (5A)

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林

Brief Introduction

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou苏州古典园林, also known as “Suzhou Gardens”苏州园林, is the general name of Chinese classical gardens located in Suzhou city, Jiangsu Province. Suzhou classical gardens can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn period春秋时代, developed in the Jin and Tang dynasties, flourished in the Song and Qing dynasties.

Suzhou is known as the “City of Gardens”. Private gardens were first built in the 6th century. In the late Qing Dynasty, there were more than 170 gardens inside and outside the city, of which more than 50 now.

In 1997 and 2000, eight of the finest gardens in Suzhou along with one in the nearby ancient town of Tongli were selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site to represent the art of Suzhou-style classical gardens.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
Lion Grove Garden 狮子林园

According to UNESCO, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou “represent the development of Chinese landscape garden design over more than two thousand years,” and they are the “most refined form” of garden art.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty 环秀山庄

The Chinese philosophy, history, and cultural customs contained in the Classical Gardens of Suzhou are a symbol and concentration of the traditional culture and history and local customs in the south of the Yangtze River, which show the essence of Chinese culture and have a unique historical position and great artistic value in the history of world gardening.

Every year, especially during official holidays, the Classical Gardens of Suzhou receive a steady stream of visitors from across the world.

What is worth to visit and see?

Classical Garden

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are noted for their exquisite design and layout. Landscape and buildings are perfectly integrated to create a great harmony between man and nature. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou have high value for the study of Chinese landscape gardening, architecture, culture, aesthetics, philosophy, and folklore.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou include Humble Administrator’s Garden拙政园, Lingering Garden留园, Master of the Nets Garden网师园, Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty环秀山庄, Great Wave Pavilion沧浪亭, Lion Grove Garden 狮子林园, Couple’s Retreat Garden耦园, Garden of Cultivation艺圃 and Retreat & Reflection Garden 退思园.

The Garden of Master of the Nets is one of the most successfully designed gardens in Suzhou with an international reputation. Covering half a hectare, the Master-of-the-Nets garden is the smallest of all Suzhou gardens. A striking feature of the garden is shown in the handling of space in a limited area.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
Master of the Nets Garden 网师园

The Humble Administrator’s Garden centers on a water theme, with one-fifth of it being pond space. Various pavilions and terraces are built along the water. The garden is divided into eastern, central, and western parts, which altogether add up to 4.1 hectares in area, which is quite large for private gardens. It is worth mentioning that the Humble Administrator’s Garden travel all seasons, spring view of Rhododendron, the summer view of Lotus, autumn view of Lotus winter view plum.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
Humble Administrator’s Garden拙政园

Lingering Garden is China’s large-scale classical private garden, the park pavilions, Kistler Gallery, plus the park’s green and a blue water pond, step in a scene, delicate but not stingy.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
Lingering Garden 留园

Aesthetic Feature

The feature of the natural beauty of the Classical Gardens of Suzhou means the appreciation and creation of the natural scenery harmoniously integrated with artificial buildings. Ye Shengtao, a famous writer and educator and also a local resident, cites the gardens’ beautiful architecture and their art of harmoniously joining human and natural elements in his “The Classical Gardens of Suzhou”.

The construction of the gardens is available for strolling in, sightseeing, amusement, and residence, and for having the effect of being pleasing to the eyes, with the scenes of mountains and waters, pleasing to the ears, with the scenes of the birds.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
Retreat & Reflection Garden 退思园

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are well known as the scholar gardens of mountains and water. The saying goes: “Rock is the bone and water is the artery of a garden.” Rock is the symbolic substitute for mountain.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
Couple’s Retreat Garden耦园

Architectural structures in Suzhou gardens are distinctive with their black tiles and whitewashed walls, simple and elegant, with the charm of the sharp contrast between black and white.

The Classical Gardens of Suzhou 苏州古典园林
Garden of Cultivation艺圃

The feature of nature integration means the effective use of ever-changing nature, such as rain, wind, clouds, and sunshine. Therefore, the artificial hills, pools, brooks, trees, flowers, and architecture in the garden could compose the framework of the scenery.

Classical Gardens of Suzhou, China in 4K Ultra HD

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