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The renowned Lion Grove Garden is one of Suzhou’s most famed and esteemed classically styled gardens. Representative of the Yuan Dynasty, the garden derives its name from its unique rockery features. The spectacularly arrayed rock formations were constructed from limestone brought over from Wuxi’s Taihu Lake. These ingeniously and skilfully arranged formations are supposed to resemble lions in different postures – roaring, fighting, playing, dancing, or sleeping.
The history of the magnificent garden dates back to 1342 when the monk Tianru and other fellow disciples created a garden as a memorial to their revered instructor, the monk Zhongfeng. In the initial years of its existence, the garden was famed as a retreat for calligraphers and painters. Notably the Emperor Qianlong is said to have visited the site a number of times to admire its exquisite beauty.
An expansive park that covers an extent of about 10,000 square metres, the garden features 71 steles, 22 pavilions and many other artistic creations. Pride of place goes to the magnificent True Delight Pavilion which is a royal edifice created by Emperor Qianlong. Meanwhile the Standing-In-Snow Hall is named after a Buddhist legend regarding a Zen disciple who spent an entire night in the snow to honour his master. The Plum Blossom Pavilion is a delightful place where poets and painters once pursued their work; in addition to being surrounded by plum trees, the pavilion’s furniture and utensils feature lovely plum blossom motifs.
Travellers to the region seeking fine serviced apartments in Suzhou will be delighted by the options provided at Citadines Xinghai Suzhou, designed to meet the needs of visitors to the city.