Yuyuan Garden is located in the center of the Old City in Shanghai, China.It is considered one of the four finest Chinese gardens.
The garden was reported first established in 1559 as a private garden created by Pan Yunduan, who spent almost 20 years building a garden to please his father Pan En, a high-ranking official in the Ming Dynasty, during his father's old age. Over the years, the gardens fell into disrepair until about 1760 when bought by merchants, then suffered extensive damage in the 19th century. In 1842, during the Opium Wars, the British army occupied the Town God Temple for five days. During the Taiping Rebellion the gardens were occupied by imperial troops, and damaged again by the Japanese in 1942. They were repaired by the Shanghai government from 1956-1961, opened to the public in 1961, and declared a national monument in 1982.
The garden covers a significant space and include a few halls, springs and other buildings of interest and cultural relics including century-old furniture, calligraphy and paintings of famous artists, clay sculptures and brick carvings, some inscriptions and couplets. One of the highlights in the garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock. It is a 5-ton porous, beautifully shaped grotesque rock which is said to be carried from Tia lake in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. The rock is characterized by its wrinkled appearance, slender shape, translucent nature and numerous holes eroded by water. An interesting legend goes that the rock was found some 1000 years ago and it was originally one of the Emperor Huizong's private collections before it found its way in the Yuyuan Garden.
The exquisite layout, beautiful scenery, and the artistic style of the garden architecture have made the garden one of the highlights in Shanghai. The surrounding bazaar area provides good shopping opportunity, where traditional Chinese products and gold and jewels are available on sale.
Admission fee: RMB30/p.p
Next to the entrance to the Yuguan Garden is the Huxinting Teahouse, once part of the gardens and now one of the most famous teahouse in China.