Stone Boat in the Lion’s Grove Garden, Suzhou.
does it float?
The Stone Boat is similar to the Marble Boat in the Summer Palace, Beijing.
The Lion’s Grove Garden was originally built in the Yuan dynasty, around 1342, as a Buddhist Temple. Emperor Qian Long of the Qing dynasty, was so impressed by this Garden that he had it replicated in the royal Summer Palace outside of Beijing. The royal marble boat was built in 1755, recalling a Tang dynasty minister’s comment that “water can keep a boat afloat, as well as overturn it”. The emperor intended the marble boat to represent the long life of the Qing dynasty.
The English and French armies completely destroyed the Summer Palace during their the Eight Allied Powers invasion of Tianjin and Beijing in the late 1880s – afterwards, Empress Cixi rebuilt it.
Each of the classical Suzhounese Gardens emphasizes one aspect of nature – the Lion’s Grove Garden has rocks as its motifs. Many amazing rock sculptures – including one’s at the entrance purported to look like lions – fill the winding paths of the Garden.
The Lion’s Grove Garden in Suzhou was once a playground for famous architect IM Pei