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Lingering Garden

Lingering Garden

Lingering Garden, together with Humble Administrator’s Garden, Beijing Summer Palace, and Chengde Imperial Summer Resort, are named Chinese Four Famous Gardens. As one of the largest gardens in Suzhou, it has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The history of Lingering Garden dates back to the Ming Dynasty. At first, a stone master named Zhou Shicheng designed and built the one of the gardens inside and it was and is still called the East Garden. Then, an official called Liu Shu in the Qing Dynasty took over the garden and added pine and bamboo trees into the garden. He was also a collector of stones and added 12 stones from Taihu Lake to the garden. The “Celestial Hall of Five Peaks” was built then. Later, the garden was named “Liu (刘)Yuan” after the owner’s family name. After a few times of being damaged and abandoned, the garden was renamed “Liu (留:lingering) Yuan” after restoration which signified the leisure of visiting the garden and unwillingness to leave, while paying tribute to the owner Liu Shu.

The garden can be divided into four sections, including: Central, East, West, and North, with the Central Garden being the oldest part of the Lingering Garden. The structure of this section includes hills and ponds. Surrounded by hills, rocks, and pavilions, there are many long corridors and exquisite bridges linking the unique landscape. The “Celestial Hall of Five Peaks” also lie in the Central Garden.

There are many gorgeous halls, pavilions, corridors, and rocks in the East Garden. The West Garden emphasizes on large rocks and maple trees. The northern region feature valuable bonsais.

Another unique feature of Lingering Garden is that there is a 700-meter covered walkway connecting the 4 gardens. Along the walkway, there are calligraphies from many celebrated masters from the Tang to the Qing Dynasty.