Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Doorways of Suzhou

The entrance to a lovely little pavilion in the Humble Administrator's Garden called Listening to the Rain. How poetic this truly is, especially when it looks into a courtyard with the shade of banana trees (or its Chinese relative).

It looks like I've started on a theme that continues with this post. The gardens of Suzhou are truly magnificent examples of horticulture and landscape architecture, but I've decided to focus on the doors and doorways in some of the gardens instead. The sequence of gardens are according to the order in which I visited them on 12 November 2012.

One of the most popular pavilions in the Humble Administrator's Garden is the Xiang Zhou (Fragrant Isle), so-named because it looks like a boat surrounded by water on three sides. Its doorway is the lucky ocatagon (which also graces the Singapore one dollar coin), supposedly something fortituous according to the geomancers. 

They come in all shapes and sizes, a four-leaved clover-shaped doorway in the Lion Grove Garden. The Chinese characters on top roughly means "the pursuit of beauty", and I can hardly disagree on this point. 

A full moon-shaped doorway in the Master of the Nets Garden, overlooking its lovely little pond.

The entrance into Canglang Ting (Blue Wave Pavilion), after one crosses a stone bridge over the moat.
A vase-shaped doorway in Canglang Ting.

A jug-shaped window that overlooks the moat of Canglang Ting.
The main attraction in Shuang Ta are its twin pagodas, but the exquisite carvings over the doorway date back one-thousand years. This was my last destination before I left Suzhou, arriving just minutes before it closed. The old caretaker was kind enough to point out this truly beautiful work of art to me.

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