China -Yuyuan Gardens-Shanghai # 2
The Jade Rock in the center is one of three famous rocks in China. It is about 11 feet high and has 72 holes. It was on the way to the emperor in Beijing when the boat sank off the coast of Shanghai. It was submerged for many years and was eventually acquired by the family that built the garden.
The owner of the garden, Yunduan Pan, once a treasurer of Sichuan Province in the Ming Dynasty, had the garden built after the imperial type in Beijing to please his parents so they could enjoy a peaceful happy time in their old age.
The construction started in 1559 but went on and off for lack of money and did not come to completion till some twenty years later. Unfortunately, Pan's father did not live to see the garden completed. Eventually the family were forced to sell the garden. There are many different areas of the garden and it is beautiful example of a classical Chinese garden. Today the area covers several acres This is the Bridge of Nine Turns leading to the Huxinting Tea house, that is in the middle of a lake. It is believed that evil spirits cannot turn corners and the number nine signifies eternity and the highest form of patriarchal power.Some of the garden areas are separated by 'dragon walls'. Above you see "Twin dragons playing with a pearl".
Below you see the magnificent lions that are at the entrance to a corridor leading to one of the pavilions. It is very easy to tell the sex of the two lions. The rule is that the female one is always put on the left while the male one stands on the right. The female lion fondles a baby, while the male plays with a ball. Apparently there is an old saying in China "The lion's cub has to learn how to rough it." The mother lion makes it a point to give the baby a hard time so that it will be trained into a brave animal.
The gingko tree below is very old (can't remember exactly how old).
Examples of two different styles of furniture.The great rockery.
I couldn't resist taking a picture of one of the terrapins who share the lake with lots of carp. I hope you have enjoyed seeing some of my photos of this garden and if you ever visit Shanghai it's well worth a visit.