With a history of more than 650 years, the Lion’s Grove Garden of Suzhou is characterized by its numerous bamboos trees and legions of curiously shaped rocks, meant to resemble lions in different postures: at play, roaring, sleeping, fighting or dancing. Thus the garden was named Lion’s Grove Garden.
According to historical records, the garden was constructed by a Buddhist monk named Tianru to commemorate his master who lived on Lion Cliff in Zhejiang Province. After Tianru passed away, the followers disappeared and the garden became desolate. In 1589, during the Ming Dynasty, a monk began to rebuilt the garden and it became prosperous again.
During the Qing Dynasty, the garden and temple was divided and the garden was bought by Huang Xing, a government official.
Much like other gardens in Suzhou, Lion’s Grove Garden is an ideal place for sightseeing because of its richly-ornamental pavilions and towers in different styles, each of which has its own story and history. Lion’s Grove Garden is notable for its labyrinthine rock quarries made of limestone from Taihu Lake such that the garden is regarded as the Kingdom of Rocks.
In the past, there was Nine-Lion Peak (nine stone lions standing in a row) at the north of Xiaofangting. But due to the changes and ravages of time and erosion, the peak now little resembles lions.
Covering an area of almost 3 acres (about 1.1 hectares), the garden is separated into two parts, the housing and the rockery, around a central pond. The garden contains 22 buildings, 25 tablets, 71 steles, 5 carved wooden screens, and 13 ancient trees.
The garden is famous for its grotto of Taihu rocks. The pond divides the grotto into two sections, east and west. Furthermore, the whole garden show a heavy influence of Zen Buddhism and is an demonstrative of Jiangnan gardens construction.
Opening Time: 07:30 to 17:00
Admission: RMB 30 from October 31-April 5, RMB 40 from April 6-October 30.
How to Get there: Take bus no. 811, 529, or Tourist Bus No. 1 & 5, then get off at Suzhou Museum Stop