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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Classical Gardens of Suzhou

Card No. 148
The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are a group of gardens in Suzhou region, Jiangsu province which have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Spanning a period of almost one thousand years, from the Northern Song to the late Qing dynasties (11th-19th century), these gardens, most of them built by scholars, standardized many of the key features of classical Chinese garden design with constructed landscapes mimicking natural scenery of rocks, hills and rivers with strategically located pavilions and pagodas.

Though smaller and less elaborate than another well-known types of Chinese garden, the opulent Imperial Gardens and Palaces in Beijing, best exemplified by the Beihai Park, Zhongshan Park, Old Summer Palace and Summer Palace; the elegant aesthetics and subtlety of these scholar's gardens in many ways contrast with the grandeur of the former, and their delicate style and features are often imitated by various gardens in other parts of China, including the Imperial Gardens, such as those in the Chengde Mountain Resort. According to UNESCO, the gardens of Suzhou "represent the development of Chinese landscape garden design over more than two thousand years," and they are the "most refined form" of garden art.

These landscape gardens flourished in the mid-Ming to early-Qing dynasties, resulting in as much as 200 private gardens. Today, there are 69 preserved gardens in Suzhou, and all of them are designated as protected "National Heritage Sites." In 1997 and 2000, eight of the finest gardens in Suzhou along with one in the nearby ancient town of Tongli were selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site to represent the art of Suzhou-style classical gardens

Information Obtained From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

View of Couple's Retreat Garden
Hanshan Temple
Humble Administrator's Garden
Lingering Garden
Lion Forest Garden
Master-of-Nets Garden
The Mountain villa with Embracing Beauty
The Canglang Pavilion
The Retreat and Reflection Garden
Tiger Hill

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