Miniature Chinese Garden



In the gardens of Suzhou the owners expressed their rebellion against the strict Confucian order by adopting the free and more imaginative Taioist (pronounced daoist) thought in their gardens. In a small area they incorporated all the wildness of nature such as forests, mountains, caves, undulating paths and hundreds of weirdly shaped limestone rocks brought from the nearby lake Taihu. The pond was always the main feature of the garden with houses and pavilions placed around it. Vistas were created to be viewed from many vantage points.

The garden is entered through a moon gate (top right). Immediately one faces a second wall, forcing the person to turn to the right or to the left. The belief in China was that this second wall prevented the evil spirits from entering the residence - evil spirits can only move in straight lines. The zig-zag bridge serves the same purpose while affording the viewer scenes on either side.


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