Classical Gardens of Suzhou
Classical Gardens of Suzhou (UNESCO cultural heritage site since 1997)
Suzhou City in Jiangsu Province is famous for its classical gardens, the earliest of which was established in the sixth century BC. As the most prosperous region in China during the Ming and Qing dynasties, it has over 200 gardens dating from those times (16th-18th centuries), and dozens of them are still perfectly preserved. Suzhou's classical gardens are integrated with residences and parks, created to bring the quiet of the countryside into the busy heart of the city. Typical of the classical private gardens are the Zhuozheng (Humble Administrator's) and Liuyuan (Lingering) gardens, and the Huanxiu Mountain Villa. In December 2000, UNESCO listed the Canglang (Surging Waves) Pavilion, Shizilin (Lion Grove), Yipu (Art) Garden, Ouyuan (Couple's) Garden and Tuisi (Seclusion and Meditation) Garden as the five scenic spots of prominent value and universal significance among Suzhou's ancient gardens in the World Heritage List.