Lion Grove Garden
Compactly yet harmoniously spaced,the Lion Grove Garden has a prominent part for series of man-made mountains with various buildings around the lake ,and an artificial waterfall and cliffs at the edge of the lake on the west. Remains of the 14th century man-made mountains,covering 1,152 sq.m.and being the largest of all at Suzhou,can be still seen today. Noted for its labyrinthine mountains with winding pathways and caverns,old pines and cypress trees,awesome peaks and jogged rocks of grotesque shapes resembling dancing lions with striking and unusral poses,it possesses with pride the true delights of mountain and forest scenery in limited space with a flavor of Zen Buddhism.
The Hall of Peace and Happiness,one of the principal buildings in the garden,is a master-piece of typical mandarin ducks' hall atSuzhou . Divided in halves, the northern half of the hall differs from the southen half in many particular aspects ,such as beam-framing systems,furnishings,pavements,carvings,window designs and so on.With painted patterns and beam carvings and looking splendid in green and gold,the True Delight Pavilion in the royal style with the "True Delight "tablet inscribed by the Qing Emperor Qianlong is a main viewing place in the garden and differs from the other plain and elegant gardens of Suzhou.Other buildings include the pointing at Cypress Trees Hall,the Asking Prunus Mumm Pavilion and the Stone Boat, etc.
The Lion Grove Garden boasts 22 buildings of varied types, 25 tablets and plate aux,71stelae inscribed with the famous Calligraphy Collection of the Listening to Rain Tower,23 brick carvings,5 carved wooden screens,and 13 valuable old trees such as gingko biloba L.,pinus bungeana Zucc,etc.,which fall into 5 catalogues.
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