Liyuan Garden (Li
Located on the northern shore of Lihu Lake
in Southwest of Wuxi City in Jiangsu Province, Liyuan
Garden is one of the most famous gardens for lake scenery
in China. The garden derived its name from Lihu Lake
and it became well known because of Fan Li, a high-ranking
official of the State of Yue in Spring and Autumn Period
(770 BC ¨C 476 BC), who lived here in seclusion
together with Xi Shi, one of the four famous beauties
in ancient China.
Liyuan Garden is a private garden built
in the early 20th century, with its layout and architecture
in classical Chinese style and a backdrop of picturesque
lake scenery. The garden is surrounded by water on three
sides. The water surface of Lihu Lake is about 10 square
kilometers, which is 1.7 times the size of West Lake
in Hangzhou. Merging with Lihu Lake, Liyuan Garden becomes
the most beautiful spot on the entire lake.
The scenery in the garden can be divided
into three sections: artificial hills in the middle
section, long causeway and Pavilions of Four Seasons
in the west section, and Thousand-step Corridor and
Spring and Autumn Pavilion in the east section. The
garden appears full of life and is like a mysterious
labyrinth, with ponds, walkway, mini-bridges, mini-pagodas
and souvenir stalls dotted here and there.
Liyuan Garden has two characteristics: ¡°A
real lake and artificial hills¡± and ¡°red
peach blossoms and green willow trees¡±.
Here the real lake refers to Lihu Lake, and the artificial
hills are the hills piled up with Taihu rocks. In the
artificial hills, there is the Ear-washing Spring in
the shape of an ear. The ¡°red peach blossoms
and green willow trees¡± is a vivid description
of the Spring Dawn at South Causeway.
Four pavilions known as Spring Pavilion,
Summer Pavilion, Autumn Pavilion and Winter Pavilion
constitute Pavilions of Four Seasons, which is one of
the highlights in the garden. The four pavilions were
built in the same style, with the pictures of flowers
in four seasons painted on the pillars accordingly.
Beside each pavilion, a special kind of flower was planted.
Plum blossoms are planted beside the Spring Pavilion;
oleanders beside the Summer Pavilion; sweet-scented
osmanthus can be found by the Autumn Pavilion; and winter
sweets by the Winter Pavilion. Therefore, you can enjoy
flowers in bloom throughout the year.
Thousand-step Corridor is about 300-meter
long, winding around the park. It has a large white
wall with numerous latticed openings, from which you
can view the park at different angles. Here you can
also enjoy the inscriptions in the handwriting of famous
ancient calligraphers, such as Su Dongpo and Mifu.
Spring and Autumn Pavilion is three-story
high, with eaves cocked upwards. As the highest architecture
in the garden, the pavilion is a good place to have
a panoramic view of the garden.