Yuyuan Garden is located
in the center of Shanghai City and neighbors City God Temple.
It is the most visited classical garden in Shangahi. The garden
was primarily built in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) by Mr. Pan,
a local government officer. The garden was built exclusively
for his parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and
happy time in their old age.
The current Yuyuan Garden is actually almost
a rebuilt one after the establishment of New China, because
the original garden was severely damaged in the late Qing
Dynasties. This ancient-styled garden covers an area of 20,000
square meters (about five acres). The garden is not large
in scale, but it is indeed a god-given quaint spot in the
international metropolis that is endowed with ingenious design,
tranquil environment, traditional Chinese pavilions and stages,
artificial hills, and water pools, etc. Besides, hundreds
of inscribed boards and stone inscriptions, and a stone carving
art exhibition hall are all worthy of visiting.
Looking through the gate of the garden,
you will see an artificial hill with a height of 14 meters
(about 50 feet), it is the largest as well as the oldest artificial
hill in the southern region of the Yangtze River. Ascending
the top of the hill, tourists will get a bird¡¯s
eye view of most part of the garden. Cuixiu Hall sits at the
foot of the rockery is a quiet and elegant place surrounded
by old trees and various beautiful flowers.
In the Yuyuan Garden, a entertainment hall
which was called Sansui Hall was built also in the Ming Dynasty
as amusement spot, which just like today¡¯s theater.
With a height of nine meters (about 30 feet) and featuring
five halls, it is the largest and most commodious structure
in the garden. The name Sansui is derived from the book History
of the later Han Dynasty, and means ¡®propitious¡¯
Taking a walk in the area of Yule Pavilion
and Wanhua Chamber, you will find many traditional Chinese
pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many
other natural features. Wanhua Chamber is a delicately chased
architecture surrounded by various cloisters and spring bamboos
grow beside the cloisters. In front of Wanhua Chamber, there
are two old trees. The higher one is a maidenhair tree which
is 21 meters tall (about 70 feet). It is said this tree was
planted by the owner of the garden 400 years ago.
The Dianchun Hall Area is located to east
of Wanhua Chamber, including Hexu Hall, Relic Hall, Ancient
Well Pavilion, and the Acting-and-Sing Stage. In the late
Qing Dynasty, the hall was once the headquarter of Xiaodao
Hui, a religious underground revolted group who fought against
the Qing government since its establishment. Though it finally
failed to overthrow the Qing Dynasty, it had troubled the
national rulers for decades of years and many histories and
relics were left by Xiaodao Hui. Visitors could see currency
coins and bulletins made by Xiaodao Hui on display in Dianchun
Hall. It just like a mini museum with its theme Xiaodao Hui
and its history.
The most rare treasure in Yuyuan Garden
is the Exquisite Jade Rock which Locates across from Yuhua
Hall. it is one of the three most famous rocks in the southern
region of the Yangtze River. (The other two are Duanyun Feng
in Suzhou and Zhouyun Feng in Hangzhou.) The most remarkable
feature of this jade rock is the numerous different-sized
holes dotted on it. There are some interesting test did by
people in ancient time. They set an incense burner under the
rock and the incense smoke rise through the holes. When they
poured a cup of water upon the rock, water would flow through
the holes down to the ground. The rock is 3.3 meters (about
10.8 feet) in height and has 72 holes.