Yu Garden (also called Yuyuan Garden) is a famous classical Chinese garden located in Shanghai. It was finished in 1577 by a government officer at that time. Yu literally means pleasing and satisfying in Chinese, and this garden was specially built for as a place to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in the old age.
Why the Yu Garden is special
Yu Garden is considered one of the most lavish and finest Chinese gardens. Yu Garden is a key historical monument under state protection. The garden today is a veritable jungle of architectural structures. The entire place is hidden in the rich verdure of trees and plants. Ancients praised it as the "best garden in Southeast China".
Yu Garden highlights
Upon entering the garden, tourists could see a rockery which is called the Great Rockery. With a height of 14 meters, it is the largest as well as the oldest rockery in the southern region of the Yangtze River. Cuixiu Hall sits at the foot of the rockery. It is a quiet and elegant place surrounded by old trees and beautiful flowers. Visitors will find curio shops in the Cuixiu Hall.
The name of Sansui Hall is derived from the book History of the later Han Dynasty, and means 'propitious' and 'lucky'. Sansui Hall was built in 1760 and was originally used to entertain guests. Later it became a place to hold ceremonies for the gentlemen and bookmen. It is the largest and most commodious structure in the garden with a height of nine meters.
Taking a stroll in Wanhua Chamber, tourists will find pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many other natural features. Wanhua Chamber is a delicately chased building surrounded by devious cloisters. Spring bamboos grow beside the cloisters. In front of Wanhua Chamber there stand two old trees. One is a maidenhair tree which is 21 meters tall. It is said that the tree was planted by the host of the garden 400 years ago.
The Dianchun Hall area is located east of Wanhua Chamber, and includes Hexu Hall, Relic Hall, Ancient Well Pavilion, and the Acting-and-Sing Stage. Dianchun Hall was once the headquarters of Xiaodao Hui, a revolted group who fought against the government of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) during 1853-1855. The coins made by Xiaodao Hui and the bulletins they proclaimed are currently displayed in the hall.
Exquisite Jade Rock is considered true treasure in Yu Garden. Together with Duanyun Feng in Suzhou and Zhouyun Feng in Hangzhou, it is one of the three famous rocks in the southern region of the Yangtze River. The rock is 3.3 meters in height and has 72 holes. What makes it more interesting is that if you burn a joss stick just below the rock, the smoke will magically float out from all of the holes.