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Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou's largest and most renowned classical garden

Among over 200 classical gardens in Suzhou, Humble Administrator's Garden is the largest one. It is also one of the best preserved ancient private gardens in China, included in UNESCO's World Heritage list in 1997. Humble Administrator's Garden is considered one of the most sophisticated and artistic private garden in Chinese history.

The Humble Administrator's Garden was constructed by Wang Xiancheng who is an imperial censor of Ming Dynasty (BC1368 - BC1644). He was tired of serving the emperor all day every day in the palace and decided to resign and live on a peaceful and better off life in his hometown. He invited a famous Chinese garden designer to design the garden for him, and named it as "Humble Administrator's Garden". The name was inspired by a famous poem "Growing trees in the yard, living a leisured and contented life ... watering vegetables at the garden and eat it everyday ... It is an ideal life a humble administrator should live."

Covering 52,000 square meters, the garden is divided into eastern, central, western parts and a dwelling area. The eastern area is an open place, landscaped with lively rockery, verdant bamboo, winding streams, and dense pines. There are two main buildings in here. One is the Cymbidium Goeingii Hall. Another building is the Celestial Spring Pavilion.

The central garden is the quintessence of the garden. Almost one third of the area is covered by ponds. The trees in here are extremely exuberant. Different types of buildings are beautiful and deliberately sited with consideration the fitness to the garden scenery. The Hall of Distant Fragrance is one of the main sights to visit. You could see lots of lotuses on the ponds in the summer. And the fragrance of the lotus will spread to the Hall. It is really a nice place to relax. Nearby is the Small Flying Rainbow Bridge, which is the only roofed corridor bridge in all Suzhou gardens.

The west garden is smaller central area. The main building is the Sixteen Mandarin Duck Hall, where was the place that the owner of the garden treated guests. The water and rockeries are similar to the middle garden, but the waved roofed corridors above water are excellent. All these structures are facing each other with reflections in water.

Humble Administrator's Garden harmoniously combines the landscaping and buildings. Ponds are sited in the center of the garden with pavilions and buildings along the water. Roofed corridors connect different parts of the garden together. All the indispensable features make the Humble Administrator's Garden to be most renowned among the four famous private gardens in China.

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