Retreat and Reflection Garden


Goldfish by H. K. Tang. Sourced via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License.

The Retreat & Reflection Garden was recognized with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These classical Chinese gardens were originally built in 1885 by Ren Lansheng. He was an imperial official working in Anhui province who had been impeached. Zho Zhuan's verse in Zhou Qiuming's Chronicles inspires the garden's name: "Lin Fu really is a gentleman when he forwards proposals, he shows loyalty to his country, when he retreats he reflects and mends his ways." The garden designer was Yuan Long, a painter of the Wumen school.

The garden covers 6,600 square metres and is divided into an eastern residencial ara and a western garden court with two minor courtyards. The Retreat & Reflection Garden's use of a east to west axis rather than it traditional north to south axis is innovative.

Map showing location of Retreat and Reflection Garden

Above: Location of Retreat and Reflection Garden in Suzhou, Jiangsu, China