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Yu Yuan: the Garden of Contentment

This garden remains open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 pm and is located next to the ancient City God Temple—today, the Yu Garden Market, a city’s crowded marketplace. It is a classic garden to its smallest detail, comparable to the Suzhou garden, the most beautiful in China.

The garden was created by Pan Yu, a servant of the Ming Dynasty, according to a project by the architect Zhang Nayang. Its beauty is comprised in the balance between mineral, animal, and vegetal beings. The garden covers two hectares where there are more than thirty pavilions, galleries, stairs, artificial mountains, pebbles, and stones of all sizes. The wall that surrounds the entire garden seems like the zigzagging body of a giant dragon guarding its treasure from mortal intruders. The pavilions have curious names like the Tower of Vitality, from which you can look at the moon; Pavilion of the Ten Thousand Flowers, Tower of Joy, Hall of the Nine Lions, among others.

In the Great Garden of Stones, there is an important stone brought from Zheijang which is 14 meters high and weighs 2,000 tons. The stone was modeled according to the canons of Chinese gardening. To the east, you can find the pavilion where fish play with a 400-year-old gingko. It is a fun park for the kids where you can have a nice time.

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