Zhanyuan Garden is a classic Chinese garden located on Zhan Yuan Road, beside Fuzimiao(Confucius Temple Nanjing), Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. Zhanyuan Garden is the only well preserved Ming-style architectural complex with the longest history in Nanjing City. This garden is famous for its rockery. It is regarded as one of the top four most famous gardens in South of China, the other three are Jichang Garden in Wuxi, Humble Administrator Garden and Lingering Garden in Suzhou.
The garden covers an area of about twenty thousand square meters. There are a total of more than 20 scenic spots inside the garden, in elegant and refined layout. They includes grand magnificent ancient architectural complexes in Ming and Qing dynasties styles, steep and precipitous rockery, the famous Northern Song Dynasty Taihu Lake, quiet and simple but elegant pavilions, etc. All those can remind you that you are looking at the classical architecture of China.
The garden has a history over 600 years. The first garden on this site was built during the early Ming dynasty by the general Xu Da, being a backyard garden of his residence. It was destroyed during the Taiping Rebellion in the Qing dynasty. It was destroyed for many years as a result of frequent wars and in 1960 it was rebuilt by the local government, with the southern ‘mountain’ added in 1960
The garden is composed of two parts: Eastern Part and Western Part. The east part refers to a museum to house the cultural relics of the Kingdom of Heavenly Peace, which was founded by a group of rebelling peasants in middle 19th century. The farmers finally toppled the authorities and set Nanjing as their capital. This museum is the main site to visit in Eastern Part. There are over 1,600 cultural relic collections here, including the robe of the Heavenly King, the imperial seal of the Kingdom of Heavenly Peace, the cannons and swords and the flags of the army, etc.. The West Part is a classic scenic garden in south of China. Winding pathways, exquisite pavilions, clean pools and a variety of rockeries are well arranged in the garden. Peak of Immortals, which was made from a huge stone from Taihu Lake, stands under crab-apple trees. The first sight of the garden is the most precious treasure. The stone is tall and straight, bright and clear, elegant and pretty.
【Best time to visit】: as a cultural sight, it is suitable for visiting all year around. In December, there is a food festival near to the temple, in which you can find many traditional local snacks and flavor food.
【How to get to Zhanyuan Garden in Nanjing】: take Subway Line 1 to Sanshan Jie Station (三山街), then walk for about 500 meters to get there; you can also take Bus Route 2, 16, 43, 44, 49, 81, 87, 游2 to Changle Road Station then walk there, or take Bus Route 317 or 游4 to Zhanyuan Road Station then walk there.