Lingering Garden

Lingering Garden is a renowned Chinese classical garden, located in Suzhou City. In 1997, the garden, along with other classical gardens in Suzhou, was recorded by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. It is one of four prominent classical gardens in China. (The other three are the Summer Palace in Beijing, the Mountain Resort in Chengde, and the Humble Administrator's Garden in Suzhou.

History

Lingering Garden or Liu Yuan is located outside Changmen, northwest of Suzhou. It was first built in Wanli 21st year (1593), Ming Dynasty. Then retired Xu Taishi invited stone master Zhou Shicheng to design and build a private garden, and named it "East Garden". In Jiaqing 3rd year (1798), Qing Dynasty, Liu Shu had it rebuilt on the desolated relic of East Garden. He named it "Cold Green Village" after the verse "clean cold color of bamboo, limpid green light of water". Meanwhile, it was also called Liu Yuan due to the surname of the owner. From Daoguang's 3rd year (1823), the garden was open to public, and became a famed resort.

During Taiping era, however, the garden perished gradually, thanks to the chaos of war and lack of attention. In Tongzhi 12th year(1873), Sheng Kang, a provincial treasurer of Hubei (father of Sheng Xuanhuai), purchased this garden, and spent three years greatly renovating and expanding it. Finally the reconstruction was completed in Guangxu 2nd year(1876), and it was renamed Liu Yuan, homophonous to the old name.

However, during Sino-Japanese War, the garden was abandoned again, and it even degenerated into breeding zone for army's horses. After establishment of the People's Republic of China, Suzhou government took over and renovated the garden. It was reopened to the public in 1954.

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