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Suzhou Lion Forest Historical

In 1341, the eminent monk Tianru Zen came to Suzhou to give a lecture, and he was supported by his disciples. The following year (the last emperor of the Yuan Dynasty Shun Emperor to the second year of Zhengzheng), the disciples bought land and houses to build a Zen forest for Zen Master Tianru.

From the Yuan Dynasty to the second year of Zhengzheng (1342), it was built by the disciple of Tianru Zen Master Weize for his teacher. It was originally named “Lion Forest Temple”, and later renamed “Puti Zhengzong Temple” and “Shengen Temple”. According to historical records, the disciples of the famous monk Tianru Zen in the end of Yuan Dynasty, “the disciples of the Zen Master Weize, “have contributed capital, bought land and settled a house, so as to live as his teacher.”

Because there are thousands of bamboos in the forest, and there are many strange stones under the bamboos, which are shaped like 狻猊(lions)”, and because the Zen Master obtained the method at Puying Guoshi Zhongfeng in Shizi Rock of Tianmu Mountain, Zhejiang, in order to commemorate the Buddhist mantle, The teacher-inherit relationship is derived from the meaning of Leo in the Buddhist scriptures, hence the name “Teacher Forest” and “Lion Forest”. It is also named because of the phrase “lion roar” in Buddhist scriptures (“lion roar” refers to the scriptures taught by Zen masters), and many rockeries resemble the shape of a lion. After Master Tianru passed away, his disciples dispersed, and the temple was gradually deserted.

In the sixth year of Hongwu in the Ming Dynasty (1373), the 73-year-old painter Ni Zan (No. Yunlin) passed through Suzhou. He participated in gardening and wrote poems and paintings (painted with “Lion Forest”). At the beginning of the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, the temple garden became private property and isolated from the temple. It was purchased by paint comprador Bei Runsheng in 1917. After 9 years of construction and expansion, it is still known as the Lion Forest (the east of the garden is the Pei’s family shrine, clan school and residence).

In the 17th year of the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty (1589), the monk surnamed Ming begged for alms in Chang’an, rebuilt the Lion Forest Shengen Temple and the Buddha Hall, and reproduced the prosperous scene. In the reign of Kangxi, the temple and the garden were separated, and they were later bought by Huang Xingzu, the father of Huang Xi and the prefect of Hengzhou, and named “Sheyuan”.

On February 11, 1703, the Qing Kangxi parade came to this point, giving the “Lion Forest Temple”, the Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty visited the Lion Forest six times, and successively gave the “Mirror Wisdom Yuanzhao”, “Painting Zen Temple” and the existing “True Interest” plaques. In the thirty-sixth year of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (AD 1771), Huangxi Senior High School champion, intensively repaired the mansion, reorganized the courtyard, and named it “Five Pine Garden”. In the middle of Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty, the family path of the Huang family declined, and the garden had been emptied, but the rockery remained the same.

In 1917, Shanghai paint giant Bei Runsheng (the uncle of the world-famous architect I.M. Pei) bought the Lion Grove from the Chief of Civil Affairs Li Zhongyu, spent 800,000 silver dollars, spent nearly 7 years renovating and adding some scenic spots. It was also named “Lion Forest”, and the Lion Forest temporarily crowned Suzhou City. Bei Runsheng was preparing to open up, but failed because of the outbreak of the War of Resistance. After Bei Run died of illness in 1945, the Lion Forest was managed by his Sun Bei Huanzhang. After the liberation, Pei’s descendants donated the garden to the country. The Suzhou Garden Management Office took over the renovation and opened it to the public in 1954.

In 1955, most of the Lion Grove ancestral hall buildings were used by cultural departments. On March 20, 1963, the Lion Grove was announced as a cultural relic protection unit of Suzhou City. In May 1966, the “Cultural Revolution” began. During the ten-year “Cultural Revolution”, the Lion Forest was once renamed “Chaoyang Park”. It was once closed in 1967. In April 1973, the original name was restored.

In 1975, the Suzhou Garden Management Office bought the Nanmu sister hall owned by the former Zheng family in the Suzhou Changfengchang Guest House for 30,000 yuan, and relocated the south-facing hall to the original lotus hall and renamed it as Hualan. hall.

In March 1982, the Lion Grove was announced as a cultural relics protection unit in Jiangsu Province. In May 1988, the relocation of Suzhou Arts and Crafts School in the original Bei Clan School was completed; in June, the Lion Forest took over, with a total area of ​​1,360 square meters. In December 1997, the Suzhou Municipal Administration of Landscape Architecture held a press conference announcing that the Lion Grove was included in the supplementary list of declared World Cultural Heritage. In October 1999, the new “Hundred Years Wisteria Stand” in Lion Grove was officially opened to tourists.

In August 2000, due to the danger of “Jianshan Building”, and the cement exterior wall of the building was inconsistent with Yuan Dynasty gardens and surrounding buildings, in order to maintain the unity of style in the garden, it was planned to make part of Jianshan Building during maintenance. Changes”. In September 2000, the Jiangsu Provincial Department of Culture approved the maintenance with Su Cultural Relics [2000] No. 54. At the end of December, the reconstruction project of Jianshan Tower was completed. In November 2000, the UNESCO Conference in Cairns, Australia Organizing the 24th World Heritage Committee meeting, five gardens including the Lion Forest were formally approved to be included in the “World Cultural Heritage List.”

In April 2001, the inscription “Lion Forest” was added in Qianlong’s handwritten script from the Yuanmingyuan site in Beijing on the southern wall of the Lion Forest. In April 2002, Ni Yunlin (Ni Zan) “Lion Forest” bookstone was inlaid on the east side of the north corridor of Zhenqu Pavilion. In November 2003, Mr. Pei, the world architect, came to the Lion Forest twice and inscribed the seven characters “Shipin Cave Sky Lion Forest” for the Lion Forest.

In April 2004, the Lion Forest was awarded the national AAAA-level tourist attraction sign. In June 2004, the Lion Grove History Exhibition Hall was officially opened.

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