Why is Lingering Garden special?
Located at 338 Liuyuan Road, Suzhou, Lingering Garden, in Chinese known as Liuyuan, is a renowned classical Chinese garden and it is recognized with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition, the garden itself stores two UNESCO intangible world heritage arts: Pingtan, a form of traditional Chinese storytelling, and Guqin music, Chinese name for a plucked seven-string Chinese musical instrument of the zither family.
Lingering Garden Highlight
Located about 3km west of the city center, the Lingering Garden was originally built in the Ming Dynasty by a doctor who wanted to give his parents a relaxing place to recover from illness. With coverage of 23,310 m2, the garden is divided into four distinctly themed sections: East, Central, West and North.
The Central Part
For its longest history in this whole area, the central part is the essence of the Lingering Garden for its fabulous waterscape.
The Wen Mu Xi Xiang Porch is the summit of the central part and thus overlooks Qu Xi House, Qing Feng Chi House and Yuan Cui House below. The main buildings of this part are the Ming Se Building and the Han Bi Villa. Big or small, far or near, high or low, these buildings are changeable with suitable and distinct gradation, showing the ingenuity of the builders.
The Eastern Part
Distinguished by its "quintessentially Chinese architecture", the eastern part of the garden consists of Return-to-Read Study, Ji Yun Hill, Ji Gu De Deng House, West House, Crane House, and finally, Wu Feng Xian Hall (Celestial Hall of Five Peaks), the largest hall of the garden and renowned as "the foremost hall of the Jiang Nan region (areas south of the Yangtze River)".
The Western Part
The western part of the garden is remarkable for its blend of natural and man-made scenery, including the aforementioned rock-like landscapes fashioned of mud and rock.
The Northern Part
Originally as a vegetable garden, the northern part of the garden currently a potted landscape, including a pensai (bosai in Japanese) landscape-of which Suzhou people are fairly proud.
Wu Feng Xian Hall
The Wu Feng Xian Hall, as the largest hall throughout China, is also called Nanmu Hall. It is 5-bay wide and built of hard rocks. Furnishings inside are elegant. Five rockeries that stand in the front of the hall are the biggest of all the rockeries-in-lake in Suzhou City. A small and novel yard is behind the hall with rockeries, ponds and corridors in it.