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Home >> China City Guide >> Shanghai >> Yuyuan Garden travel information and tours

Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden, Shanghai
Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden, China Shanghai

Yuyuan is the most famous garden in Shanghai. It is located in the heart of Shanghai's Old City, not far from the Bund, one of the few existent old tourist places in Shanghai.

The garden was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. He used almost 20 years and all of his savings to construct the garden in an attempt to please his parents for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their high ages. It is called garden "Yuyuan" - because "yu" in Chinese means "peace and health"-- a place of peace and comfort in the heart of busy Shanghai. YuYuan Garden is a nice place, covered with typical Chinese architecture, with lots of shops, bars and restaurants. Keep open until late night gathering Chinese and foreign tourists.

Yuyuan Garden had undergone many changes in the 400 years of its existence. With the decline of Pan's family it became very dilapidated during the late Ming Dynasty. In 1760, some rich merchants bought Yuyuan Garden and spent more than 20 years reconstructing the buildings. Yuyuan Garden was severely damaged during the Opium War of the 19th century. So the Yuyuan Garden we see today is the result of a five year restoration project built in traditional Chinese style with numerous rock and tree garden areas, ponds, dragon-lined walls and numerous doorways and zigzagging bridges separating the various garden areas and pavilions. It was open to the public in September, 1961. Now Yuyuan Garden attracts a huge number of visitors from all over the world each year.

Entering the gates, the first building you encounter is the Three-Corn Ear Hall. It was constructed with five spacious rooms in Qing Dynasty style to entertain his guests. It was served as kind of celebration and announcement of imperial edicts afterward. Looking up we can read a plaque inscribed, "Mountains and Forests in the City", reflecting the surroundings as a setting of tranquility amidst the bustling city.

Go across the Yangshan Hall ("Hall for Viewing the Mountain") you will see the grand rockery with a height of 14 meters which is called the Great Rockery made by Zhang Nanyan a famous rockery artist in Ming Dynasty; it is the largest as well as the oldest rockery in the southern region of the Yangtze River. On the top of the rockery, you can overlook the garden. Cuixiu Hall is at the foot of the rockery. It is a quiet and elegant place surrounded by old trees and beautiful flowers. Visitors will find curio shops in the Cuixiu Hall. Wandering in the area of Yule Pavilion and Wanhua Chamber, you will find two old trees. One is a maidenhair tree which is 21 meters tall (about 70 feet).It is said that the tree was 400 years old.

The Dianchun Hall area is located east of Wanhua Chamber. Dianchun Hall was once the headquarters of Xiaodao Hui, a revolted group who fought against the government of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) during 1853-1855. On the top the characters "Yuhua" are inscribed, which mean "exquisite jade stone". The Exquisite Jade Rock standing before the Yuhua Hall is one of the three most famous rocks in China. It is a piece of featuring rock from Lake Tai in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province.

The walls of Yu Garden are decorated with an undulating dragon dividing the garden into different areas, yet it retains a harmonious unity - the variety of scenic areas is one of the garden's greatest characteristics. The garden consists of 48 different scenic attractions including the Grand Rockery, Chamber of Ten Thousand Flowers, Spring Pavilion, Scenery Gathering Pavilion, "Yulinglong", and Gathering the Moon Pavilion.

Shanghai Travel Attractions
The Bund
Yuyuan Garden
Shanghai Museum
Jade Budder Temple
Oriental Pearl TV Tower
Huangpu River
Former French Concession
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