A Brief Introduction to the Suzhou City of Jiangsu


  Jiangsu Province is located in the Yangtze River Delta of East China. Siding with the Yellow Sea to the east, it borders with Shanghai and Zhejiang province on the southeast, Anhui Province on the west and Shandong Province on the north. The province occupies an area of 102,600 square kilometers, with about 79 million permanent residents. Currently it is consisted of 13 provincially administered municipalities.

  Suzhou City sits in the southeast of Jiangsu, bordering Shanghai on the east, Zhejiang Province on the south, the Taihu Lake on the west and the Yangtze River on the north. It covers an area of 8,488 square kilometers, of which 42.5% is water body. Suzhou boasts a household registered population of 6.53 million, and a larger permanent resident population of 10.54 million.

  Suzhou City was built in 514 BC, approximately 2,500 years ago. The city is still located at the same place as it was during the Spring and Autumn Period. Suzhou still retains a picturesque framework of parallel canal routes and land roads and parallel of streams and streets. It stands out as a unique historical garden with foot bridges over flowing streams and black tiles on pink walls. Well known as the Land of Fish and Rice, and Silk Capital, Suzhou enjoys the fame of Paradise on Earth.

  Suzhou is a renowned cultural, historic and tourist city in China, as reflected in the old saying Suzhou garden is unparalleled under heaven. Over 60 classical gardens are well preserved and 9 of them are listed in the Catalogue of World Cultural Heritage, including Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, etc. Its Kunqu Opera and Ancient Guqin are listed in the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Towns such as Zhouzhuang, Tongli, Luzhi and Mudu, with thier thousand years of history, feature beautiful waterside sceneries. The 28th World Heritage Conference of UNESCO was held successfully here in June 2004.

Ancient Suzhou City
  As one of the most ancient cities of China and the cradle of Wu Culture, Suzhou City was built in 514 BC, approximately 2,500 years ago. The city is in the same place as it was during the Spring and Autumn Period. Suzhou is a picturesque city of parallel canal routes, land roads, streams and streets. It stands out as a unique historical garden with footbridges over flowing streams and black tiles on pink walls. With 35 kilometers canal and 168 ancient bridges, Suzhou has been named Venice of the East.

Humble Administrator's Garden
  Humble Administrator’s Garden is known as the “Best of the Famous Gardens in Southeast China”. Built during the reign of Ming Emperor Zhengde (1506-1521), the garden resembles the natural scenes of southeast China. Water occupies the greater part of the garden. Adjusted to its local geographical and natural conditions, the layout of the Garden centers on its pond design, with all buildings facing the water. It was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997.The garden is divided into three sections: east, middle and west. The middle section has the best view.

Lingering Garden
  As one of the four most famous ancient gardens in China, the Lingering Garden was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1997. It was originally built in the Ming Dynasty of the late 16 century and completed in the Qing Dynasty. With an area of 23,310 square meters, it is celebrated for its artistic way of dealing with the spaces between various kinds of architectural form. Buildings make up one third of the total area of the garden. The garden is separated into the middle, eastern and western sections. The ancestral temple and the house lie to the south of the garden.

Cold Mountain Temple
  As one of the ten most famous temples in China, Cold Mountain Temple is situated five kilometers from Fengqiao Old Town in Suzhou. It is said that in the Tang Dynasty, a famous monk Han Shan came to take charge of the temple, hence its name. Building originally commenced during the Liang Dynasty (502-557), and was repaired again in the following dynasties. Now, covering an area of about 10,600 square meters, it presents the architectural style of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It includes the Grand Prayer Hall, Sutra-Collection Building, Bell Tower, Fengjiang Pavilion and Tablets Corridor, etc. There are many more historical relics in the temple, such as the statue of Han Shan, the stone tablet inscription of the poem A Night Mooring near Maple Bridge and some other tablet inscriptions written by famous intellectuals of ancient China.

Zhouzhuang
  Zhouzhuang is one of the most famous water townships in China, noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs. Sitting just 30 kilometers to the southeastern side of Suzhou city, it is boasted by its 900 plus years old of history. It was honorably selected into the preliminary list of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.