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Jiangsu - Suzhou Gardens

    In 1997 the Classical Gardens of Suzhou were added to UNESCO's World Heritage List.

    The Suzhou Gardens are situated at Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province. Suzhou is an ancient, civilized and beautiful city and the Suzhou gardens are well-known throughout the world. With over 170 gardens and sites such as the Lion Forest, Canglang (the blue sea waves) Pavilion, the Humble Administrator's Garden, Liu Garden, they are the concentrated expression of the skilful design and artistic style of Chinese Gardens.
    The Humble Administrator's Garden, located at the northeast street of Suzhou City, is the biggest garden of Suzhou City, which has won the fame of "Reputed Garden in the South of China" and "Cream Among the Gardens".
    The Humble Administrator's Garden is laid out with water as its center which occupies 3/5 of the total area. The principal architecture is built along the waterside, filled with natural style of simplicity, brightness, amiability and vividness. The garden is divided into three parts: east, middle and west. The middle part is the cream of the whole garden. Inside are the charming exquisite Yuanxiang (fragrance emitting far away) Hall, the Hall holding 36 Mandarin Ducks, the Hall of 18 Datura Flowers and more than a decade pavilions; each has its own style, none has anything similar; they are the prestigious, luxurious embodiment of the Ming dynasty.
    The Lion Forest lies along the Suzhou Garden Boulevard. There are strange stones resembling lions in the garden, hence the Lion Forest, famous for its artificial hills accumulated by the exquisite and skillfully shaped stones from the Tai Lake. The cave tunnels pass through twists and turns, as if it were a labyrinth. It is known as the 18 scenic spots of the Land of Peach Blossoms (A Haven of Peace); on top of the cave are strange peaks with different posture. The Lion Peak is ranked the top among other peaks. The overall arrangement has more forests in the southeast and more water in the northwest with long winding corridors, the towers and patios faintly visible in a distance. Having a distinctive style of their own, many pavilions are built along the waterside with hills as its settings, scattered here and there; on the walls of the corridors are more than here and there; on the walls of the corridors are more than 60 pieces of marble slabs carved with calligraphy.

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