Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wang Xianchen, Humble Administrator's Garden

Wang Xianchen, Humble Administrator's Garden
When Wang Xianchen, an Imperial Envoy and poet during the Ming Dynasty, wanted to retire, he retired in style. He constructed the garden in 1513. The english name for the site is the Humble Administrator's Garden; in chinese the name is Zhuōzhèng Yuân. The garden is quite large, measuring almost 13 acres, and is generally considered to be the most beautiful and majestic garden in southern China. Before Wang decided upon making his garden the land was just a piece of swampland. In this way the complex is similar to Versailles. The land had to be slightly terraformed and the some earth needed to be scooped out to make room for the many ponds on the property. There are many islands and buildings that add to the charm of Wang's garden. Koi fish swim in some of the many ponds. Sadly Wang's son was forced to sell the garden after his father died because of gambling debts. The garden was sold to multiple people and would not be whole again until the Chinese government purchased the entire garden in 1949. The site was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site  in 1997.

The beauty of the gardens can not be just experienced in over a computer screen, going to this sacred site should adorn everyone's bucket list. I myself have walked the path to the Wailua Falls in Hawaii, an area with similar plants and rivers and ponds. Pictures depict a great landscape, but in person you feel in peace with the world. You feel as though you have reached true harmony and that for the time that you are there, everything is right with the universe. Walking through these gardens would undoubtedly have the same feeling.

List of other World Heritage Sites

Information on Chinese Gardens in general

Travel information for the Garden

Reviews of the Garden


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