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Humble Administrator's Garden

humble-administrator-garden01 Located in the northeastern part of Suzhou city, Humble Administrator's Garden, with a total area of 51,950 square miles, is the largest private garden in Suzhou, as well as one of the four most famous classic gardens in China (the others are: Summer Palace, Mountain Resort of Chengde and Garden for Lingering In in Suzhou).

Around 1513, during the Ming Dynasty, the imperial inspector Wang Xianchen, returned to Suzhou after retiring from public life and built his garden. The name Humble Administrator's Garden was inspired by the essay 'To cultivate my garden and sell my vegetable crop is the policy of humble man'.

humble-administrator-gardenThe garden is representative of Chinese classical gardens in the Ming Dynasty, which are focused on a central pond with pavilions, terraces, chambers, and towers located nearby. Humble Administrator's Garden is divided into three parts: the eastern, middle and western parts.

The middle part is the cream of the garden with marvelous mountains, clear water, exquisite buildings and exuberant trees and flower reminiscent of the scenery in the south of the lower Yangtze River. Elaborately conceived, the designer of the garden used the architecture technique know as 'borrowed view from afar' in the layout of this part, aiming to enlarge eyeshot within a limited space. Seen westward, a pagoda would be seen sitting in western garden, which actually is situated 1km away from the garden.

The buildings in the western part of the garden are properly arranged by the lake, in which the Hall of the Thirty-Six Mandarin Ducks and the Hall of Eighteen Camellias are most important. Both halls are furnished with ancient furniture, paintings and calligraphies hung on the wall, embodying the leisurely life of the master. To the end of west garden lies a bonsai garden, where about 700 bonsais are put on display, which is worthy of visiting.