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Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden, maybe the most celebrated classical Chinese garden in Shanghai, is located in the northeast part of the old town. With a total
area of less than 5 acres, it has more than 40 attractions in the inner and outer gardens, both built in the Ming Dynasty classical style.
Yuyuan Garden
In 1559, a Ming official named Pan Yunduan launched the construction of this private garden for his
father's pleasure. The construction lasted 19 years. Later, due to the decline of the Pan family, the
garden gradually fell into disuse. Furthermore, several civil conflicts in the mid-19th century caused
great damage to it. After several large-scale re-constructions since 1949, Yu Yuan was finally
opened to the public in 1961. The garden each year attracts countless visitors from home and

Built in a style that Suzhou gardens often take, Yuyuan garden is characterized by an exquisite layout,
beautiful scenery and artistic architecture. Each pavilion, hall, stone and stream in the garden can
express the quintessence of South China landscape design from Ming and Qing dynasties.

Covering 20,000 square meters, Yuyuan Garden has more than 40 scenic spots, which is divided into six parts by five boundary walls, including
Grand Rockery, Flower Pavilion, Hall of Heralding Spring, Hall of Jade Magnificence, Inner Garden, and Lotus Pool.

One of the highlights in the garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock. It is a 5-ton porous, beautifully shaped grotesque rock which is said to be carried
from Tia lake in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. The rock is characterized by its wrinkled appearance, slender shape, translucent nature and numerous
holes eroded by water. An interesting legend goes that the rock was found some 1000 years ago and it was originally one of the Emperor
Huizong's private collections before it found its way in the Yuyuan Garden.
Yuyuan Garden
The bounding wall in the garden decorated with dragon's heads and paved by scalelike tiles on top, looks
like a huge wandering dragon. More interesting is that each dragon in this wall only has four claws. Legend
goes that when the wall was first completed in the Qing Dynasty, like the dragon in royal palaces, they all
had five claws. The feudal ruler, regarded it as a sign of irreverence and rebellion, and then cut one of the
claws of each dragon.

The exquisite layout, beautiful scenery, and the artistic style of the garden architecture have made the
garden one of the highlights in Shanghai.


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