Shizilin, Canglangting, Wangshi Garden Shizilin, Canglangting, Wangshi Garden


Shizilin (Lion Grove) was built in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) by Monk Tian Ru to commemorate his teacher, Monk Zhong Feng. The garden's mane comes from the rocks' resemblance to lions.
Covering just over one hectare, Lion Grove, another of the four renowned gardens in Suzhou, is adjacent to Zhuozhengyuan. Its lake rockeries of various shapes and sizes are so famous that it is reputed the "kingdom of rockeries". Qing Emperor Qianlong once paid a visit to Lion Grove and was impressed by the intricate labyrinth of caves there.


Not only one of the four most renowned Suzhou gardens, Canglangting is also the oldest existing garden in the city and a mode of Song-dynasty gardens. It was first constructed in the 10th century, and Su Shunqin, a poet of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), gave it this name, meaning Surging Wave Pavilion.
Its layout broke away from the traditional style of encircling tall walls. The garden is also an excellent illustration of "borrowing scenes" with the distant views seemingly within the garden. The rocks, winding corridor and flowery walls are the three characteristic features of Canglangting.

Wangshi Garden (Net Master Garden)

Also called fisherman's Garden, this 0.6-hectare garden is an elegant structure of a typical official's residence of the Qing Dynasty.
The present garden is found on the former site of a Song dynasty official's mansion. Its owner, an early Qing-dynasty official Song Zongyuan, gave its present name based on the earlier one, "Fisherman's Retreat".
Wangshi Garden consists of a residential quarter and the garden proper. Inside the refined residential quarter, the halls are linked closely by a corridor. The garden, petite but substantial, is focused on a pond and decorated with plants, rocks, pavilions, and stone bridges.
Wangshi Garden is especially fancied by overseas visitors and is praised as the most ornate and intact private gardens in Suzhou. Some tourists even offer a huge amount of money to buy it.
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