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Home Travel in Jiangsu Lingering Garden
Lingering Garden

 Lingering Garden
Located outside the Changmen Gate (chāng mén 阊门), Suzhou City (sū zhōu shì 苏州市), the Lingering Garden (liú yuán 留园) is one of the four classical gardens in Suzhou City, equally famous as the Summer Palace in Beijing (běi jīng yí hé yuán 北京颐和园), Emperor Kangxi's Summer Mountain Resort in Chengde (chéng dé bì shǔ shān zhuāng 承德避暑山庄), and the Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou (sū zhōu zhuō zhèng yuán 苏州拙政园). It was first built in Jiajing reign (jiā jìng nián jiān 嘉靖年间) of Ming Dynasty (míng cháo 明朝), covering an area of 30000 square meters. The total amount of the architectures in Lingering Garden is the largest among all the gardens in Suzhou.

In the Jiajing reign of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), an official named Xu Taishi (xú tài shí 徐泰时) built two gardens here: one in the east and the other in the west. The one in the east is the predecessor of today's Lingering Garden. In the later years of the Qianlong reign (qián lóng nián jiān 乾隆年间), Liu Shu (liú shù 刘恕) got the eastern garden. He rebuilt it and changed its name to "Hanbi Mountain Villa"(hán bì shān zhuāng 涵碧山庄). Because the owner Liu Shu was quite fond of stones and his surname was Liu, the garden was called the Liu's The Cloud-capped Peak Garden (liú yuán 刘园) accordingly. In the 12th year (1886) of the Guangxu reign (guāng xù nián jiān 光绪年间), the garden became in the possession of a wealthy comprador Sheng Xuren (shèng xù rén 盛旭人), and changed its name to the Lingering Garden. After Suzhou City was recovered in the 1911 Revolution, the Lingering Garden and other possessions of Sheng Xuren were confiscated by the revolutionary army. The Lingering Garden experienced several damages in the following years, and became a big staple for Japanese during the War of Resistance against Japan. After new China was founded, Suzhou municipal government set aside a sum of money to repair the Lingering Garden. Since then, the Lingering Garden has taken a new look.

The Celestial Hall of Five PeaksThe Lingering Garden is well-known for the exquisite beauty of its magnificent halls, and the various sizes, shapes, and colors of the buildings. Like other famous gardens in Suzhou, the Lingering Garden seeks to create stunning natural landscapes within limited space. In the garden, domiciles, ancestral temples and private gardens are included. Buildings, trees, and flowers blend harmoniously with their surroundings.

The Hanbi Mountain VillaThe most famous scenic spots in Lingering Garden are the Cloud-capped Peak (guān yún fēng 冠云峰), the Celestial Hall of Five Peaks (wǔ fēng xiān guǎn 五峰仙馆), the Hanbi Mountain Villa (hán bì shān fáng 涵碧山房), the Pellucid Tower (míng sè lóu 名瑟楼) and the Fish Fossil (yū huà shí 鱼化石).

The Cloud-capped Peak is 6.5-metre-high, standing aloft to the north of the hall with its reflection in the still water of a pool in front. It is the finest and highest limestone in Suzhou, believed to be left behind by the imperial collector of the Northern Song Dynasty (běi sòng 北宋). It is the most outstanding one of the Taihu Stone (tài hú shí 太湖石), with all the characteristics gathering together.

The Pellucid TowerThe Celestial Hall of Five Peaks is a chief structure in the Lingering Garden. Probably no other building in the south of the Lower Yangtze can match it for its extraordinary vast size. In front of the hall is a mountain made of limestone winding and undulating along as the five famous peaks are at Mt. Lu (lú shān 庐山).  

The Hanbi Mountain Villa, popularly known as the Lotus Hall (hé huā tīng 荷花厅), is a chief building in the middle part of the garden. It is tall, roomy, properly furnished and carefully positioned with respect for the nearby pavilions, picturesque landscape and waterscape.

The Pellucid Tower is an exquisite two and a half storied building with a uniquely designed mountain path winding upward. The idea comes from A Commentary on the Book of Rivers (shuǐ jīng zhù 水经注), saying, "Watching fishes and birds by the pellucid water and trees"(mù duì yú niǎo, shuǐ mù míng sè 目对鱼鸟,水木明瑟).

Fish FossilThe Fish Fossil is a natural picture on a piece of marble. The patterns on the marble are looks like a stream surround by mountains, and cliffs. On the higher part, there is the clouds, and a white spot, which can be taken as the sun or moon. The marble is more than 1 meter wide, but only 15 millimeters. It was from the Cangshan Mountain (cāng shān 苍山) in Yunnan Province (yún nán shěng 云南省). People are wandering that how it was delivered from thousands miles away.

Lingering Garden
No. 302, Liuyuan Road (liú yuán lù 留园路), Suzhou City
Admission fee: RMB 40 (Midseason: April 16 to October 30)
                       RMB 30 (Off-season: October 31 to April 15)
Opening hours: 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Transportation: you can take bus No. 11, and the tourist bus No. 1 and 2 to get there.

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