Retreat and Reflection Garden

The Retreat and Reflection Garden, also translated as the Garden of Quiet Meditation, is located in the old town of Tongli Water Town. The garden's views are simple, but elegant. It's layout follows the topography; it reaches beyond the ordinary. From west to east it is arranged horizontally, with residence on the left, a courtyard in the middle, and garden on the right; the garden's views are thus entered one by one, finally arriving at the superlative scenery.

Retreat and Reflection Garden at Suzhou

The Retreat and Reflection Garden was built in the 11th to 13th year of Qing dynasty's in the reign of Guangxu Empire (1885-1887 A.D.). The garden owner's name was Ren Lansheng. He had also been dismissed from office, and in order to remedy for his wrongdoings he gave the garden its name. The garden designer's name was Yuan Long; he was well versed in poetry, literature, calligraphy and painting. Following the characteristics of Water County he designed it carefully, and then spent two years to build it. The garden occupies a little less than 0.65 hectare, and combines many different garden construction methods; and is a specimen of excellence.

Retreat and Reflection Garden in Winter

Water forms the central point of the Retreat and Reflection Garden, with buildings and rockeries arranged along the water's edge; buildings are erected close to the water surface, emphasizing the vastness of the water area. Thus it is also called Retreat and Reflection Garden. Special for the Retreat and Reflection Garden is that water and buildings are very close; as if the garden floats on water. Compared to other gardens, this gives the feeling of motion.

The Interior of Retreat and Reflection Garden

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