Embodying the perfect blend of harmony and tranquillity, the garden is indubitably among the finest gardens in China. It is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the other surrounding classical gardens of Suzhou. Located in the Canglang District at Dai Cheng Qiao Road, Master of Nets truly emanates the skills and talents of Chinese garden designers.
Using impressive expertise to synthesize the surrounding areas of the garden, the designers have used their adept skills to create a wondrous illusion of making the garden look much larger than its actual size. This remarkable use of space in changing the landscape and the architecture further manages to produce a unique sensation of metaphysical elements, which seems to attach itself to the masterpieces of the garden. Capturing the perfect atmosphere of serenity and composure that seem to exude from the synthesized art evident in the garden, the Chinese garden designers of the Suzhou gardens have flawlessly sustained the original allure of the place, its spirit and character still intact. In fact, among renowned garden connoisseurs, it is held in high regard for its artistry and mastery of garden techniques including sequence and depth, contrast, relative dimension, foil and scenery.
A humble garden by nature, due its small size in comparison to others, the architectural achievement embodied in the place is truly stunning. Constructed over 800 years ago, its physical form has changed dramatically over the years. The changes have not reached to such a drastic extent as it is still recognized as a historic garden, which was designed initially during the Song Dynasty. An exquisite garden, it was used as a residence until the rebellion of Taiping, which occurred in the 1860’s. Later, it was restored to its beauty under the ownership of a retired government official who renamed the garden to its present name, Master of the Nets Garden. During his ownership, he made many drastic changes, adding many buildings to its structure, redesigning the garden.
Divided into three different sections, the garden has a central main garden, an inner garden and a residential section. Having a large pond in the main garden area, it has an array of buildings surrounding it, encompassing the Moon Pavilion, Wind Pavilion and the Ribbon Washing Pavilion. With the advent of such pavilions, there are also many pathways surrounding the main garden. Having many more buildings inside the garden, the garden keeps intact its spacious nature, where there is never a moment of over-crowding in its design. The buildings have a feudal element to it, where its lavish ornamentation and intricate yet impressive design symbolizes the Song Dynasty style. Portraying the picture-perfect views when glancing outside the windows, it draws viewers into an unbinding spell.
Deemed as a well-preserved garden, the inner garden is exceptional to view, similar to a precious diamond stone. Not to be missed out, its beauty seems to ripple through the halls of air, giving the onlookers never ending pleasure and fascination. As a great representation of classical Chinese garden art, it has achieved a reputation of being one of the few places that encapsulates a sense of its raw appeal, attracting more people every year.
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