Why is Couple’s Retreat Garden special?
With its Chinese name “Ouyuan Garden”, the Couple’s Retreat Garden (sometimes referred to as the Couple’s Garden) is listed in cultural relics unit as well as a UNESCO World Heritage along with other classical Suzhou gardens.
Built by in 1874 by Lu Jin, prefect of Baoning district, this garden was purchased by Shen Bingcheng, the magistrate on Susong, who rebuilt it in its current form and renamed the garden to the “Couple’s Garden Retreat, which manes to the garden’s two parts and alludes to a couple.
Couple’s Retreat Garden Highlight
Thatched Cottage at the City Corner
The principal structure “Thatched Cottage at the City Corner (also known as another Chinese name: Chengqu Thatched Cottage)” is a hall with double-eave roofs and faces the south, which is rare in the design of the garden of Suzhou and contains a traditional Chinese architectural characteristic.
Based on a pun alluding to the love between herder boy and weaver girl, it is the primary structure consisting of five bays and two stories.
The major scenic spot of the entire garden is the Yellowstone Rockery built in the front of the Chengqu Thatched Cottage. The stones of the rockery are the same in size, and the technique of piling rockery is realistic and natural.
The eastern part of the rockery is bigger and the stone path in front of the thatched cottage leads to the platform in the eastern side of the rockery and the stone chamber. The western part of the rockery is smaller and gradually descends to west.