Lion Forest Garden
Lion Forest Garden (Shizilin) is located on 23 Yuanlin Road, in the northeast of Suzhou. It is one of the four most famous gardens of ancient classical style in Suzhou City. The other three are Blue Wave Pavilion (Canglangting), Lingering Garden (Liuyuan) and Humble Administrator’s Garden (Zhuozhengyuan).
First constructed in the Yuan Dynasty, The Lion Forest Garden is a prominent garden featuring man-made mountains with various buildings around the lake. In 1341, Tian Ru, a Buddhist monk, came to Suzhou to preach scriptures, and was loved and supported by his disciples. The year after, his disciples built this temple garden for their master, featuring rocks in the shape of lions, hence the name Lion Forest Garden.
As one of the four famous gardens of the city of Suzhou, Lion Forest Garden was famous for its labyrinthine mountains with winding pathways and caverns, old pines and cypress trees, awesome peaks and jagged rocks of grotesque shapes resembling dancing lions with striking and unusual poses. Covering 1,152 square meters, with the Lesser Flying Rainbow bordering the area, the artificial hills are divided into two parts: one in the east, and the other in the west. The artificial hills in the Lion Forest Garden are structured in the most complicated and diversified way out of all the classical gardens in China.