Yuyuan Garden

Yuyuan Garden Facts

Location: No. 137, Anren Street, Huangpu District
History: over 400 years
20,000 square meters (about five acres)

Map of Yuyuan Garden
Yuyuan Garden Map (Click to enlarge)

Yuyuan Garden, aka Yu Garden Shanghai, was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying, and this garden was specially built for Pan's parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age.

History of Yuyuan Garden

In the 400 years of existence, Yuyuan Garden had undergone many changes. During the late Ming Dynasty, it became very dilapidated with the decline of Pan's family. In 1760, some rich merchants bought it and spent more than 20 years reconstructing the buildings. During the Opium War of the 19th century, it was severely damaged. The garden you see today is the result of a five year restoration project which began in 1956. It was open to the public in September, 1961.

Yuyuan Garden occupies is in small size, but it's not a representative of the attractions of the garden. The pavilions, halls, rockeries, ponds and cloisters all have unique characteristics. There are six main scenic areas here: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall and the Inner Garden. Each area features several scenic spots within its borders.

Great Rockery

Upon entering Yuyuan Garden, you will encounter a rockery, which is called the Great Rockery. With a height of 14 meters (about 50 feet), it is the largest as well as the oldest rockery in the southern region of the Yangtze River. On the top of the rockery, you can get a bird's eye view of the garden.

Cuixiu Hall

Cuixiu Hall sits at the foot of the rockery. It is a quiet and elegant place surrounded by old trees and beautiful flowers. Visitors will find curio shops in the Cuixiu Hall.

Sansui Hall

The outside of the Yuyuan GardenSansui Hall was built in 1760 and was originally used to entertain guests. Later it became a place to hold ceremonies for the gentlemen and bookmen. With a height of nine meters (about 30 feet) and featuring five halls, it is the largest and most commodious structure in the garden. The name Sansui is derived from the book History of the later Han Dynasty, and means 'propitious' and 'lucky'.

Yule Pavilion & Wanhua Chamber

Wandering in the area of Yule Pavilion and Wanhua Chamber, you will find pavilions, corridors, streams, courtyards as well as many other natural features. Wanhua Chamber is a delicately chased building surrounded by derious cloisters. Spring bamboos grow beside the cloisters. In front of Wanhua Chamber, there are two old trees. One is a maidenhair tree which is 21 meters tall (about 70 feet). It is said that the tree was planted by the host of Yuyuan Garden 400 years ago.

Dianchun Hall Area

The Dianchun Hall area is located east of Wanhua Chamber, and includes Hexu Hall, Relic Hall, Ancient Well Pavilion, and the Acting-and-Sing Stage. Dianchun Hall was once the headquarters of Xiaodao Hui, a revolted group who fought against the government of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) during 1853-1855. The coins made by Xiaodao Hui and the bulletins they proclaimed are currently displayed in the hall.

The picturesque scenery in the garden Beautiful pool in the Yuyuan Garden

Exquisite Jade Rock

The true treasure of Yuyuan is the Exquisite Jade Rock. Located across from Yuhua Hall, it is one of the three famous rocks in the southern region of the Yangtze River. (The other two are Duanyun Feng in Suzhou and Zhouyun Feng in Hangzhou.) The rock is 3.3 meters (about 10.8 feet) in height and has 72 holes. What is interesting about this rock is that if you burn a joss stick just below the rock, the smoke will magically float out from all of the holes. Similarly, when you pour water into the rock from top, the water will flow out from each hole creating a spectacular sight to see. Pan Yunduan was very fond of the Exquisite Jade Rock, and he built Yuhua Hall facing the rock so it was convenient to sit in the hall and admire it. The furnishings in the hall were made of top grade rosewood of the Ming Dynasty, appearing both natural and graceful.

Inner Garden

The Inner Garden was a separate garden built in 1709, but is now a part of Yuyuan in the south. It is compact and exquisite, and the rocks, pavilions, ornamental ponds and flower walls offer some of the most attractive sceneries in Yuyuan.

Yuyuan Garden Shopping

Near the garden is a shopping mall where visitors can buy all kinds of souvenirs like foods, craftworks, and jewellery.

How to get to Yuyuan Garden

By Bus:
1. Take bus 11, 26, 64, 736, 805, 920, 926, 930 and get off at Xinbeimen Station, and then walk along Anren Street to reach the garden.
2. Take City Sightseeing Bus Line 1, 3 or 5 to get there.

By Metro:
Take Metro Line 10 and get off at Yuyuan Station. Leave from Exit 1.
Shanghai Bus / Metro Search

Entrance Fee Apr. - Jun. & Sep. - Nov.: CNY 40
Jul. & Aug. & Dec. - Mar.: CNY 30
Free for children under 1.3m (4.3ft).
Opening Hours 8:45 - 16:15

 Further Reading:
 Old City God Temple
 Top 10 Things to Do in Shanghai

- Last modified on Sep. 21, 2018 -