The Humble Administrator’s Garden was built in the early years of Zhengde in the Ming Dynasty (in the early sixteenth century), with a history of over 500 years. It is one of the representative works of classical gardens south of the Yangtze River. The Humble Administrator’s Garden was listed as National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit by the State Council in 1961, known as “Four Famous Gardens” in China together with the Beijing Summer Palace, Chengde Mountain Resort and Suzhou Lingering Garden. In 1991, it was regarded as National Special Tourist Attraction by the State Planning Commission, the Tourism Bureau and Ministry of Construction. In 1997, it was approved and included in the “World Heritage List” by the UNESCO. In 2007, it was approved as one of the first AAAAA-class Tourist Attractions by the National Tourism Administration.
The Humble Administrator’s Garden is located in the northeastern corner of the ancient city Suzhou (No. 178, Northeast Street). It is the largest classical garden in Suzhou, covering an area of 78mu (about 5.2 hectares). The whole garden is water-centered, with green hills, delicate pavilions and lush flowers and trees, full of poetic and pictorial splendor and rich features of the south of the lower reaches of the Yangze River. The garden is divided into three parts, eastern, central and west, and each has its own unique character. The East Garden is spaciousness; the Central Garden is the essence of the whole park; and the West Garden has exquisite buildings. The southern part of the garden is the residential area, reflecting the typical residential pattern of the south of the Yangtze River. To the south of the garden is Suzhou Garden Museum, which is the only garden theme museum all over the country.