Qiyuan Garden

  • Release date:2010-12-27  15:52
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  • Yiyuan Garden, with an area of 14.8 mu, is one of China’s top ten famous classical private gardens, is located in Yiyuan Alley of Wuyuan Town in Haiyan County, Zhengjiang Province. Originally it was a garden deserted in Ming Dynasty and later was rebuilt by a person whose surname was Hong, so it’s called Garden Hong, a typically private garden in Jiangnan areas. In the 9th year after Tongzhi’s enthronement (i.e. in 1781), the garden owner Hong Zanzai built his own residence named Snajin. In the next year, attracting the best points of desolate Zhuyiyanu Garden and Yanyuan Garden his father-in- law owned in Ming Dynasty, began the construction of the garden, ie, today’s Garden Hong, behind his own residence ”Hongshan Letang”. Nowadays, the Garden has come to be known as a pearl of the gardens in Zhejiang.


      Yiyuan Garden covers a land area of 10 thousand square kilometres and a water area of two thousand square kilometres. Seventy percent of the whole garden is almost shadowed by trees as many as one thousand, among which there are over forty old ones as old as hundreds of years. Those trees can be found standing on the top of the mountains, or hidden in the valleys, or growing on the cliffs, or living near the river. Besides, there are young groups of bamboo and vines crawling up around the trees, interweaving each other in the air and forming masses of clouds.


      The garden was built based on the concept of “around the mountain water flows, because of water, the mountain looks delicately beautiful”: with the trees and pools as its main contents, the garden is dotted here and there with buildings, similar to the current garden construction with scenery as its main contents. The garden area with large amount of water area, is independent, not attached to any residential area. In the front and the rear of the rockery in Yiyuan Garden, there are gullies, which is different from Suzhou Gardens because they are too small to dig gullies in the rear of the rockeries. The outline of the Garden is similar to that of Zhuozheng Garden in Suzhou, with the entrance in the east,  flower pavilions in the center, curved bridges in the front, rockery in the pools, and water flowing around the halls and running northeast through the hole into the big pool in the rear. Such scenic spots in the Garden are dotted as Shadows in the Pond, Butterflies Flying in the Green, Picturesque Morning Sunlight, Moon Disappearing at Sea, Curved Vines in the Clouds, Twiddle in the Valley, Lotus in the Sunset, Beauty Looking at the Mirror, Birds Singing for the Spring and Earth Smelling of Fragrance. Along the tour route there are caves, riverside roads, beams overhead, boats and tunnels, forming an intricate maze, which is seldom found in Jiangnan areas. The rockery of the Garden is divided into front, middle and rear parts, much the same as the poetic connotation embodied in China’s ancient verse “Viewed from the front, it looks like the ridge, and from the side, the peak.”  Many pavilions like Tanying Pavilion, Xiaoying Pavilion, Dicui Pavilion, Lotus Pavilion are built for both decoration and tourist’s rest. In the Garden several bridges such as Jiuqu Bridge, Sijian Bridge and Anhua Bridge exist as independent scenery. Sijian Bridge,a unique bridge example in China’s gardens, is made up of three flagstones spanning the river; Anhua Bridge is a stone arch one, divides the lake into two sections, from which the picturesque scene comes into being with couplets hung on the arch reading “Between two lakes is the shining mirror, over pair bridges descending the rainbow”


      In the south of the Garden lies a two-storey residence---- Sanletang, with nine rooms and dooryards. The foyer carved from bricks is decorated with flying-rafter, dougong and stele in which the words “Firm as the roots of a clump of bamboos and luxuriant as the pine tree”are carved. The whole building with white walls and black tiles is the typical vernacular dwelling in Jiangnan areas and is a complement to the Garden

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