Located just outside of Changmen Gate, Suzhou in Jiangsu Province is one of the four most famous and beautiful gardens in China. Covering an expanse of 23,300 square metres, the Lingering Gardens has a rich history that dates back 400 years and through the ages has become one of the most stunning pieces of architecture of Suzhou and was named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The scenic greenery, winding paths, soothing waterways and stunning buildings has made it a popular site among tourists and locals alike.
Initially built as a private garden in 1593 during the Ming Dynasty, the site was passed onto Liu Su during the Qing Dynasty. It subsequently passed down through the hands of many owners who added a bit of themselves to further perfect the garden. During the Sino-Japanese war the garden fell into a desolate state but was revived by the government and opened to the public in 1954. Ancestral temples, domiciles, the many waterways, trees and flowers bend harmoniously to create this stunning garden.
The garden mainly consists of four different areas depending on the type of building. The central part branches out to the eastern and western sections and is the essence of the site as it is part of the original garden, while the rest was added later. The central area is the largest and encircles a pond and grotto of yellow granite stone. The eastern section is dominated by classical buildings and arrayed around the cloud capped peak stone while the western part is renowned for its simplistic natural beauty of pools and hills as well as the Penzai garden. The northern part was used as a vegetable garden but now holds beautiful potted plants. The scholar stones which add up to make the stone forest added by Liu Su is a striking part of the site and is a must visit. Another specialty of the compound are the 700 metre long enclosed pathways that connect the four areas of the park and on the walls of which there is interesting calligraphy carved into the stone.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+
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