An optional destination for Nanjing travel - Zhanyuan Garden
Posted by ugfanfan on September 23rd, 2014
As one of the five most famous gardens in South of China, Zhanyuan Garden is the only well preserved Ming–style architectural complex in Nanjing. An emperor once came here and gave it the current name. The garden has a history over 600 years. During the peasants’rebels, it became the residence of their leaders. It was destroyed for many years as a result of frequent wars and in 1960 it was restored by the government.
The garden consists of two parts. The east part refers to the museum to house the cultural relics of the Kingdom of Heavenly Peace, which was founded by a group of rebelling peasants in middle 19th century. The farmers finally overcame the authorities and set Nanjing as their capital. There are over 1,600 cultural relics collected in the museum, such as the imperial seal, the robe of the Heavenly King, the cannons and the flags and swords of the army.
The west part is a typical scenic garden in south of China. Exquisite pavilions, winding pathways, clean pools and a variety of rockeries stand in the garden. Peak of Immortals, which was made from a huge stone from Taihu Lake, stands under crab-apples. The first sight of the garden is the most precious treasure. The stone is straight and tall, clear and bright, elegant and pretty. Stripes are decorated naturally on the stone and they are linked with each other by the knotted holes.
The main structure of the west part is the Hall of Jingmiao. Surrounded by pond and rockeries, the Hall looks like a pavilion on the water. Another strange stone called “wave of snow” made of Taihu Lake stones lay to the east of the Hall. Countless wave-like stripes and hollows dot on the surface of the stone. Different appearances show on different sides under the different lights. It was said that the Chinese characters on the stone were carved by a noted scholar in 11th century.
The South Rockery can be appreciated when standing on the south side of the hall. The rockery, which is less than 33 feet high, is covered by colorful flowers and green trees. The waterfalls, valleys, stone caves and skillfully designed crags make it resemble a real hill. The noted stone caves, such as Twisted Dragon, Lying Tiger and Three Apes are the features of the North Rockery.
Like a dragon winding its way over the horizon, the West Rockery is famous for the poetic and charming pavilion named “Suihan”, which is surrounded by plums, bamboos and pines.
An amazing picture is made up from the three rockeries and the rippling pools in this garden. Additionally, the rocks projecting over the water are first class examples among similar examples in any of Southern China gardens.
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