Suzhou is located in Jiangsu Province, 100 km southwest of Shanghai, near Taihu Lake, the most fertile region in the Yangtze River Delta. The city was founded in 514 BC. as the capital of the Principality of U. During the Middle Ages, it was a major center of trade, cotton and silk weaving production. Until today, the ancient arrangement of streets along the river channels has been preserved, for the abundance of which Suzhou even received the name “Eastern Venice”.
The city is divided into the old part and two modern districts: New Suzhou and Sino-Singapore Cooperation Industrial Park. Both old and new Suzhou remain the bearers of traditional Chinese culture. Check indexdotcom for imperial gardens in China.
Suzhou famous for garden art, which is considered the best in these areas of China. The most famous gardens are Zhuozhengyuan (Garden of the Modest Official) with a large number of reservoirs, a forested island, a covered bridge, a hall and a pavilion on an artificial stone ship, and Liuyuan (Garden of Slowness), consisting of four parts of different styles. The oldest garden in the city is the Blue Wave Pavilion or Canglang. It was built in 1044. The garden consists of heaps of stones, thickets of green bamboo and artificial hills. The peculiarity of the pack is that there is no circumferential wall, instead of it the mountains serve as a natural fence. The Bright Path Hall features wood carvings of more than 500 famous people who have left their mark on Suzhou ‘s history.. The Lion Cave Garden, created during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), is famous for its lion-shaped heaps of stones, which gives it its name. The Huanxushanzhuang Garden is a unique collection of artificial mountains and gained fame in the Qing era. The main place on its territory is occupied by ponds and water channels, on the banks of which there are artificial mountains covered with trees and shrubs. Between the mountains there is a path leading to grottoes, narrow passages among the rocks and dense thickets. 9 gardens of Suzhou have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, and there are about 100 in total.
In the northeast of the city, there is Huqiu Tiger Mountain. In 496 BC. after the death of one of the sovereigns of the Wu dynasty, a tomb was built on this mountain, which was guarded by a white tiger for three days, and in 961 the amazingly beautiful Yunyansi pagoda was erected. In 1644, it deviated several degrees from the central axis, which is why it is often compared to the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Towers, pagodas, towers were built on the slopes of the mountain. Tourists are shown several dozen sights, each of which is associated with a legend.
Hanshan temple (Hanshan) in the northwestern part of the city was built in the VI century. Repeatedly fires destroyed the temple, the current building belongs to the end of the Qing period (1644-1911). The main buildings are Mahavir Hall, Sutra Hall, Stele Corridor, Bell Tower and Maple River Building. Since 1979, every year on December 31, a bell has been rung in the church. Its ringing is reminiscent of ancient traditions and at the same time signifies the coming of the New Year.
In the eastern part of the city are the Twin Pagodas. They were built in 982 during the Song Dynasty. Pagodas used to stand on both sides of the entrance to Banzhuo Monastery, but they were destroyed in 1860. Immediately behind the pagodas is the foundation of the ruined temple. Many fragments of the temple are scattered throughout the territory, and among them are bas-reliefs made in the Sung period.
The Panman gate in the southeast of the city has been preserved since the time of ancient Suzhou (VI century). They are the only gates in China on land and on water at the same time. Their name translates as “the gate of the coiled dragon”, which was engraved in their upper part.
The Fengqiao Bridge is located on the Ancient Canal, 4 km west of Suzhou. The adjacent landscape area covers an area of 45 hectares. On the streets, shops offer a rich selection of local handicrafts: paintings, calligraphy, silk products, etc. From the building of the old school you can hear the sounds of the lute “piba”, and in windy weather from the tower of the Hanshan monastery you can hear the chime of bells.
On the territory of the city is 3/4 of the water area of Lake Taihu (Taihu) and 8 landscape lake areas. Taihu is not only extremely picturesque, but also famous for its cultural and historical sights and diverse flora. The longest lake bridge in Chinawas built on the lake, leading to the island of Dongting Xishan. There are two mountains on the lake – Dongshan and Tingshan. The houses in the style of Ming architecture and a beautiful grove have been preserved in the Dongshan settlement.
On Shizishan Mountain, there is a 94-hectare Suzhou Disney Park with many attractions.
Antiquity has been preserved not only in the ancient part of the city. In the vicinity of Suzhou, there are many ancient settlements: Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Luzhi, Mudu and others.
Zhouzhuang (Zhouzhuang) is known as China ‘s first settlement on the water. Its history goes back 900 years. It is known throughout China for its labyrinthine canals, Qing and Ming buildings, and local customs. On an area of 0.4 km 2there are about 100 ancient classical courtyards, more than 60 arches of brick carving and 14 ancient bridges. The bridges are the most diverse, but the most typical are the twin bridges of Shuangqiao. These strong, stone, simple bridges were built during the Ming Dynasty. They consist of one arched stone span and one beamed stone span. Architecturally unique is the “double-pass bridge” thrown over two channels. The streets are rivers, the passages are connected by bridges, and the houses are built along the rivers. Zhouzhuang is especially interesting to visit during the boat races and the Lantern Festival.
Another ancient settlement – Tunli (Tongli) – is considered one of the best preserved “villages on the water”. It is crossed by 15 rivers, it has a length of 6 km and consists of 7 sections connected by 49 bridges. Many buildings in the style of Ming and Qing architecture have been preserved in Tongli, for example, the residential ensembles of Chunbentang and Jiayingtang, Tuisiyuan Park. Inside the premises, you can see evidence of the occupations of their past owners: musical instruments, checkers, books. Outside the premises, artificial slides, gazebos, galleries, towers appear everywhere, many of which are built near the water itself.
The village of Luzhi is surrounded by lakes: in the east lies Yangchenghu Lake, in the south – Dianshanhu and Chenghu lakes, in the west – Jingjihu and Duehu lakes, so they say about it “five lakes and three islands.” The streets are at the same time canals, so that the water runs right up to the foundations of the houses. On the shopping streets there are many shops and shops with a large selection of goods. In Luzhi you can get an idea of a well-planned and lively medium-sized water transport city.
Suzhou is famous for its arts and crafts. Fans made by local craftsmen are known not only in China, but all over the world. The city is also an important manufacturer of silk products. Suzhou embroidery is one of China ‘s four celebrated indigenous embroideries.