Suzhou Classical Gardens
reflection of landscaping art in ancient China
Suzhou is a cultural and historical city in the southeastern part of Jiangsu Province, famous for its elegant private gardens, nicknamed "City of Gardens".

The gardens in Suzhou can be traced back to the Spring and Autumn Period of the Eastern Zhou Dynasty. Gardening in Suzhou reached its peak in Ming and Qing dynasties. Landscaping became an art and there were over 280 private gardens in Suzhou. The gardens emphasized on the return of nature and the cultivation of temperament. The basic garden elements include hills and waters, bridges, flowers and trees, pavilions, towers and halls. The Surging Waves Pavilion (沧浪亭, Cānglàng Tíng), The Lion Grove Garden (狮子林, Shīzǐ Lín), The Humble Administrator's Garden (拙政园, Zhuōzhèng Yuán) and The Lingering Garden (留园, Liú Yuán) are the Four Classical Gardens of Suzhou, representing the different styles of Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Many gardens were destroyed in wars or conflicts in history but restoration was done in the early 1950s. Sixty-nine gardens in and around Suzhou are still in good condition. Nine of them were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
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