Why is Heyuan Garden special?

 

Built during the Guangxu reign period (1875-1908) of the Qing Dynasty, Heyuan Garden is one of the famed gardens in Yangzhou. The owner named the garden Jixiao Mountain Villa to reflect the artistic ambience described in an article by a famous Chinese poet: I lean on the southern window while feeling proud; and I climb the highland in the east while feeling happy.

 

Different from Geyuan Garden in Wuxi which is well renowned for the four-season-rockery, Heyuan Garden is famous for its excellent combination of the western architecture art and the eastern garden characteristics. Around the pool of the garden stands a variety of pavilions that are linked together to form an architecture belt. A stroll around the pond along the winding corridor brings visitors to every corner of the garden.

 

Heyuan Garden is also known for its zigzag paths and winding corridors, and the construction style shows the combination of the Chinese and Western architecture arts. A famous expert of ancient architecture of modern China spoke highly of the Heyuan Garden: “The overall layout is well conceived and arranged, and the garden in the north is perfect,” and “it is an only example in gardens of South China.”

 

While Heyuan Garden is designed following the traditional structure of Chinese classical gardens, two distinct features distinguish it among the rest. In the western section a winding wooden pathway connects each building to one another. Within each house throughout the garden, a western-style fireplace can be found, along with a number of other aspects of western culture, signifying an integration of western influence in traditional Chinese architecture.

 

Heyuan Garden Highlights

 

The whole garden falls into three parts: the west and east gardens, the residential area and courtyard, and the Mountain Villa. These three parts, as separate units, are laid in a chain. With both Chinese and western features, the garden can be used as both residence and a scenic spot. The designer endeavored to create a satisfactory and ideal living place.

 

East Garden and West Garden

 

West and east gardens are the major tourist attractions of Heyuan Garden. Boat Hall and Peony Hall comprise the eastern part. A building with an exotic name “Phoenix Facing the Sun” stands at north of the Boat Hall, it is the place where female guests were feasted. Theatrical performances were staged in a kiosk that stands in the center of a pool for the entertainment of the theatergoers. In the eastern garden, a rockery weaves along a hexagonal pavilion once used to entertain visitors. Small houses and pavilions are scattered throughout the western garden, surrounding a central pavilion and rockery that was once home to the garden’s owner. The Butterfly Hall, the main hall of the garden, was where men were feasted, also stands in the western garden. Ancient trees tower over the entire garden, which is a world of artificial mountains, with rocks of exotic images and flowers blossom in the four seasons.