The garden is an important part of ancient Chinese architecture. It is a combination of structures and man-made landscape with natural scenery. It does not only provide lodging but also landscaping with architecture, environment and human in full harmony.
The ancient Chinese garden originated in the Shang and Zhou dynasties, when monarchs began to build parks for their own leisure and pleasure. During the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period, it was a fashion to build gardens. Until the Han dynasty private gardens appeared. After the Jin, and Northern and Southern dynasties, private gardens came into vogue as the rich and powerful sought to express their sentiment in landscaping. During the Tang and Song dynasties, a poetic touch was added to the layout and scenes of a garden, and became a general feature. In the Qing dynasty, garden architecture reached its peak.
There are many classifications according to different criteria. Herein garden architecture falls into four categories.
Imperial: These gardens, usually spacious, exquisite and grandiose, were built for royal families by thousands of people. Images of these gardens will linger in one’s mind forever. Now most former imperial gardens are in Beijing.
Private: These gardens are usually built in urban area, neighbored with residences. Since land is expensive in cities, private gardens are generally small and simple but delicate and look tasteful and play multiple functions. Most famous private gardens are situated in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province.
Monastic: These gardens are commonly found in monasteries against quiet and verdant mountains. With natural beauty, these gardens are solemn within the sacred atmosphere.
Garden in scenic resorts: They usually occupy large public areas since they are based on the combination of natural scenes and man-made landscape and structures in suburb area or mountains.
To enjoy or appraise a Chinese garden, there are six aspects to keep in mind.
2. the way rockery and water are arranged
3. Pavilions, terraces, halls and chambers
4. Flower and tree arrangement
5. Appropriate names
6. Poetic touch
A Chinese garden consists of four parts:
1. Rock formations
2. Water scenes
4. Flowers and trees
Some Famous Chinese Garden
In China, many imperial and private gardens have been designated as world culture heritage sites by the UNESCO. Below I just list 7 for your info.
Summer Palace (Beijing)
Old Summer Palace (Beijing)
Chengde Mountain Resort (Chengde City, Hebei province)
Humble Adiministrator’s Garden (Suzhou)
Master of the Nets Garden (Suzhou)
Lingering Garden (Suzhou)
For info about some famous Suzhou Gardens please simply click Suzhou Gardens.
David is a travel consultant from http://www.chinafacttours.com. He have studied and traveled in many places in China.
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