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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Chinese Culture  »  Chinese Architectures  »  
Classical Garden

Chinese classical garden refers to the private garden in regions south of the Yangtze River and the northern royal garden landscape garden as the representative of Chinese Architecture. Chinese Han architecture is unique in the world, there is a significant development in the history of the garden achievement. It is a valuable historical and cultural heritage of all mankind. Chinese classical garden art is an important cultural heritage of mankind, and is universally recognized as the mother of the world's gardens, the wonders of the world of art. Gardening practices have been respected and imitated by Western countries, in Western countries set off a wave of "Chinese garden hot." Chinese garden art, in order to pursue the natural realm, "as though the person, Naturalism" as the ultimate and highest purpose of aesthetic experience.

The History of Classical Garden
According to ancient records, Chinese classical gardens should start in the Shang and Zhou Dynasty, and it was called enclosure at that time. In Han Dynasty, it was renamed garden. The Han Dynasty developed the enclosure on the basis of the achievement in Qin Dynasty to the imperial gardens. In imperial gardens, the emperor not only spare time, but also deal with government affairs. Southern and Northern Dynasties are an important period for the development of Chinese society and Chinese culture. Because of prosperous economic condition and booming culture, the scholars were pursuing for natural beauty and traveling all over the country became a trend. Literati and artists were also involved in the construction of classical gardens which made the gardens have stronger cultural ambience.

The Sui Dynasty ended the political chaos in China and the social economy became even more prosperous. As the emperor of Qin were wasteful and extravagant, people were more eager to build gardens. In addition to the construction of the Emperor Garden Court in the capital, the emperor also built gardens all over the country. His went to Yangzhou to view the scenery three times and eventually hanged in Jiangdu palace garden.

Emperor Taizong of Tang pursued for "good governance, flourishing society". The society has entered the era of the flourishing Tang Dynasty, the design of imperial gardens were increasingly sophisticated and gorgeous.

Song and Yuan Dynasty was also a flourishing period for building gardens. Especially in the using of stone, there was greater development in Song Dynasty. Emperor Huizong of Song Dynasty “was an accomplished painter and he especially appreciated stones. During this period, a large number of writers, artists involved in gardening, to further strengthen the creative mood impressionistic landscape garden.

Ming and Qing Dynasty is the peak of the Chinese garden creation. From Qing Dynasty Emperor Kangxi to Emperor Qianlong period is the most active period for building royal gardens. The social stability and economic prosperity provide favorable conditions to the construction of large-scale natural landscape, such as "Summer Palace", "Summer Resort", "Chang Chun Pavilion" and so on. Southern Gardens is a private garden built in the Ming Dynasty as the major achievements, such as "Surging Wave Pavilion", "Humble Administrator's Garden," "Jichang Garden" and so on.

Category of Classical Garden
By occupant
Royal garden is designed for the royal family to enjoy and spare time. Royal gardens are characterized by large-scale, real mountains and water; more magnificent building and colorful garden. Existing famous imperial garden are: Beijing's Summer Palace, Beihai Park in Beijing, Hebei Chengde Mountain Resort.
Private gardens are for leisure garden for the royal clan Dukes, Princes officials, rich merchants and others. Its characteristics are smaller, so commonly used fake rockery water and buildings are in small size which shows its sober and elegant colors. Existing private gardens, such as Prince Gong's Mansion in Beijing, Suzhou Humble Administrator's Garden, Lingering Garden, Surging Wave Pavilion, Shanghai Yuyuan Garden, etc.

By geographic
North garden type, due to geographical broad, north gardens have a wide range. Mostly because it’s the center of the country, the buildings are magnificent. Due to natural weather conditions, rivers and lakes, garden stones and evergreen trees are small. Representatives of northern gardens are mostly concentrated in Beijing, Xi'an, Luoyang, and Kaifeng while Beijing is especially a representative.

Southern type. As the population in the south is denser, so the little garden covers a smaller geographical area. Because of many lakes, garden stones and evergreen trees, they all contribute to constructing delicate beautifully landscaped garden. Due to the above condition, southern type garden is characterized by beautiful scenery, elegant and simple, deep twists and turns. The representative of the Southern gardens are mostly concentrated in Nanjing, Shanghai, Wuxi, Changzhou, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Yangzhou and other places.

South of the Five Ridges Type. Because of its subtropical position, the trees are evergreen. And there are rivers, so gardens’ conditions are better than the north and south. Its obvious feature is a tropical climate, buildings are high and spacious. The representative of South of the Five Ridges type gardens is the famous Guangdong Shunde Qinghui Park.



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