Ouyuan Garden (Lotus Garden) stands out even among the famous classical gardens of Suzhou. It was built in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and in 2000 was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is composed of a large mansion and has houses built in the middle with two gardens set on either side, to the east and west. It is surrounded by a canal on three sides.
The major scenic spot of the entire garden is the Yellowstone Rockery built in the front of the Chengqu Thatched Cottage. The stones of the rockery are the same in size, and the technique of piling rockery is realistic and natural.
Visitors can descend to a pond that is at the foot of a steep precipice via a passage in the southeastern side of the precipice which provides the most imposing scenery of the rockery. The western part of the rockery is smaller and gradually descends to west. The hillside slops gently and ends at the right wall of the Chengqu Thatched Cottage.
Ouyuan's East Garden features a hill rising from a pond, along with pavilions, terraces, and towers peppering the surrounding landscape. The hill is actually man-made, and was a masterpiece of Zhang Nanyang, a great master of landscape architecture in the late Ming Dynasty. The principal structure, City Corner Cottage, is a group of multi-storied buildings that sport double roofs, which are a traditional feature of Chinese architecture. To the south of the pond lies the Water Pavilion Amongst Mountains. A feature of this pavilion is its large circular door, which measures four meters long and 3.5 meters wide, and upon which are carved Chinese symbols of vitality, including pines, bamboo and plums.
Admission fees and opening hours
Opening hours: 07:30-17:00
Admission: peak season (April, May, July, August, September, October) 25 RMB; off season (January, February, March, June, November, December) 20 RMB
Special points of interest
Address, phone/contact person
Lotus Garden, 5-1 Baita Dong Lu, Suzhou
Tel: 0512 6727 2717 (CN)