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October 23, 2019

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Yuyuan Garden reopening delayed

Shanghai’s historic Yuyuan Garden, dating back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), has suspended its reopening until mid next month for “environmental protection.”

The garden in the city’s old town area began renovations on September 19. But the management office of the garden recently announced that it will extend the ongoing project, which was scheduled to be completed by the end of October, through November 16, when the one of the most popular tourism attractions will reopen.

The Yuyuan Garden Malls — the dining and shopping facilities near the historic garden, which began as a prosperous market at the City God Temple about 140 years ago — continues to operate and will remain open during the garden’s renovation.

Visitors can still walk along the iconic Zigzag Bridge, have a cup of tea at the Mid-lake Pavilion or taste meals at the Lubolang Restaurant which has reopened after a half-year renovation.

The garden on Fuyou Road and Anren Street is a classic Jiangnan-syle garden. Jiangnan is the area south of the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. And the garden is a national protected historical site.

The former private garden was initially built by Pan Yunduan, a high-level government official of the Ming Dynasty, in 1559 as a gift to his father. Over the years, it was expanded to include more water features and elaborate architectural structures.

Construction on the garden lasted more than 60 years, from 1559 to 1620, and much of the design is attributed to the famous landscape architect Zhang Nanyang. He invited opera troupes to give performances and held kite-flying events, cricket fights and religious services in the garden.

The garden survived the Opium War in 1842 when the British army set up a headquarters in the Mid-lake Pavilion, as well as the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression, when invaders torched some of the garden pavilions.

In the late 1980s, the garden underwent a series of renovations restoring it to its original glory.


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