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The Famous Chinese Gardens - The Humble Administrator's Garden

HIGHLIGHTS:
  • The largest and most famous garden in Suzhou. The garden covers about 12.84 acres, three-fifth of which is water area.
  • The Humble Administrator's Garden is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site and has also been designated as one of the Cultural Relics of National Importance under the Protection of the State as well as a Special Tourist Attraction of China.

The Famous Chinese Gardens - The Humble Administrator's Garden The Humble Administrator's Garden is the largest and most famous garden in Suzhou , China . The garden covers about 12.84 acres, three-fifth of which is water area. It was originally built in 1509 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Humble Administrator's Garden is laid out to imitate the natural beauties with water, bridges and pavilions. It is divided into three sections; the eastern section, the central section, and the western section. These sections have their own characteristics yet connected to each other through the water courses to form beautiful sceneries and a sense of harmony.

[an error occurred while processing this directive] The central section is the elite part of the garden, with marvelous mountains, clear water, exquisite buildings, exuberant trees, and a great variety of flowers. It is reminiscent of the scenery in the south of the Lower Yangtze River area. On an east-west axis there's the Hall of Drifting Fragrance (Yuanxiang Tang) in the middle, borrowing views of pagoda outside the garden with that of the lake and other sceneries in the garden. Rising from the lake are the east and west hills made from a mixture of earth and rocks, and covered with trees. During summer time, the fragrance from the lotuses breezes in the pavilion creating a present surprise. It is how the Hall of Drifting Fragrance got its name. The Small Flying Rainbow Bridge (Xiaofeihong), an unusual shelter bridge in Chinese traditional architectures, is the only one in the garden one could walk across.

The tranquil and peaceful western section boasts rich water views with a lake at the center. The buildings in the western part of the garden are properly arranged by the lake. To the south of the lake is a big mandarin duck's hall with two halves. The northern half is named "the Hall of 36 pairs of mandarin ducks" (Saliu Yuanyang Guan) and the southern half is named "the hall of 18 camellias” (Shiba Mantuoluohua Guan) . Going up and down and in a zigzag, a unique veranda over the water is a structure built along the wall to the east of the lake. The Good-For-Both-Families Pavilion on the top of the hill overlooks the central and western sections, another example of the Chinese garden technique called "borrowed view from near".

The eastern section features hills covered with dense bamboo and pine trees, and decorated with winding streams. Lotus (Furong) Waterside Pavilion and Celestial Spring Pavilion (Tianquan Ting) are two attracting spots in the east.

Due to its unique designs and ethereal beauty, the Humble Administrator's Garden is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site and has also been designated as one of the Cultural Relics of National Importance under the Protection of the State as well as a Special Tourist Attraction of China. Along with the Summer Palace in Beijing , the Mountain Resort of Chengde in Hebei Province and the Lingering Garden in Suzhou , the Humble Administrator's Garden is considered as one of China 's four most famous gardens.

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