Composed during the Yuan Dynasty, the Lion Grove Garden or Shizi Lin, is made up of several small rockeries that resemble the shape of a lion, or Shizi in Chinese. The garden surrounds the Puti Zhongfeng Temple in the northeast corner of Suzhou covering nearly 10,000 square meters.
The rockeries occupy more than half of the garden’s total area, rising in layers to form peaks, crags, valleys, and caverns. Originating from Taihu Lake, the sheets of limestone have been laid to form 9 mountain paths, 21 caves, and countless unique rock formations that resemble lions striking various poses throughout the garden. You will find the giant creatures dancing, roaring, fighting, and even playing together.
The Zhonfeng Temple is made up of a collection of a number of noted architectural structures including the Wen Tianxiang Poem Steles Pavilion, the Imperial Steles Pavilion, and the True Delight Pavilion. Walls of these pavilions are inscribed with characters dating back to emperor’s visits during the Qing Dynasty.
The Zen Buddhist style that dictates the design of the Lion Grove Garden is one of the four recognized styles throughout Suzhou’s many extravagant gardens.