Attraction 28 Yanggongdi Xihu, Hangzhou, Zhejiang China Published on: 20-08-2016
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Why Guo's Villa (Guo Zhuang) is special ?
Guo's Villa (also Guo Zhuang Scenic Spot, or Guozhuang Garden) is the best existing traditional private residence in Hangzhou. It was built in late Qing Dynasty. With a mountain in the back and the west lake in the front, the garden is known as 'Number One Garden of the West Lake' thanks to its tranquil environment, well-preserved buildings, and tasteful landscaping layout. The key feature, or spirit, is water. Cleverly juxtaposing shade and light, curved and straight, yin and yang, the garden of Guo Zhuang is a wonderful embodiment of the Chinese wisdom of Taoism and the Way of Nature.
What to explore at Guo's Villa (Guo Zhuang)?
Guozhuang Garden is mainly divided into four parts – the large lake, the small lake, the rockeries and residential area and the West Lake area. Within the garden, two separated lakes in the garden present different views. The bigger lake appears flat and spacious with a slab zigzag bridge and a long corridor. The smaller one is circled by the pavilions and rockeries and residential area.
Guo’s Villa is a walking-friendly maze of winding roofed corridors, mansions, pagodas, rockeries and soothing floras. Bringing a piece of nature, in a natural way, into an enclosed living space, is the main principle of traditional Chinese gardening south of the Yangtze River. The “Borrowing Scenery” technique, achieved through myriad ornate windows, full moon-shaped doors, and strategically placed corridors, is loyally observed here.
How to get to Guo's Villa (Guo Zhuang)?
You may take the tourist bus no.1 or 2 and get off at the stop of Huanpu (花圃) and walk there. You may also add it to your circular walk along the West Lake after your stroll along the Lotus Breeze in the Curved Garden.
- One of classical gardens in Hangzhou
- Quite well furnished indoors
- Good site to review the traditional aesthetics of Hangzhou
- One of the most beautiful private gardens
- Like a soul's retreat off the West Lake
28 Yanggongdi Xihu, Hangzhou, Zhejiang China
Tips for you
Guo's Villa, as it is more accurately called in all Hangzhou's tourist brochures, was a stately villa built on the shores of West Lake in 1861 for a Qing Dynasty silk merchant, Guo Zhuang. It is a wonderful example of the Chinese skill in blending the man-made with the natural surrounds to create a peaceful and harmonious environment. The villa consists of several buildings, surrounded and interlocked with gardens, many of which look across the waters of West Lake. The two whimsical names "Living in Quietness", which was Guo's residential quarter, and "Sky in the Mirror" describing the gardens. Guo must have been a rich man, but I still wonder how he managed to pay for the heating in winter. We nearly froze to death. There is an entrance fee of 20 yuan, but it is worth it.