Yuyuan Garden: A Spectacular Chinese Garden in Shanghai

The Yuyuan Garden is one of the essential places in the city of Shanghai. This, which is completely restored, meets all the necessary elements to be one of the Chinese gardens of reference between the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The origin of the Yuyuan Garden

This Chinese garden is located in the heart of Shanghai, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in China. It offers the opportunity to walk through an area of ​​almost 20,000 m² and enjoy the masterful combination of each element of its composition. Is It complies with the basic rules of architecture of classical Chinese gardens, capable of recreating a landscape in miniature.

Built during the Ming dynasty, specifically in the year 1559, it was one of the best known works of Pan Yunduan. This member of the Chinese court created this garden for the leisure and comfort of his family. The works began after failing one of the imperial access exams.

However, despite Pan Yunduan’s academic failure, he was eventually appointed governor of Sichuan province. This would delay the completion of the works until the year 1577, the date on which he resigned from his position.

For the success of the work, he hired horticulturists and other garden design experts. The latter, added to the rest of the expenses caused by the work, would end up bringing ruin to the Pan family.

The garden was passed from hand to hand until 1760, when a group of merchants decided to take charge of its restoration and it was opened to the public. Nevertheless, suffered years during the First Opium War and during the Taiping Rebellionso it had to be restored again in 1961.

Touring the Yuyuan Garden

The Yuyuan Garden offers a wide tour full of unique corners for lovers of classical Chinese landscapes. Already right at the entrance of the complex we can admire the Sansui Hallwhich served as the main hall for large meetings of high-ranking leaders.

In the same way, The first thing that will surprise us will be the way in which the garden is divided. The use of high walls, decorated with taste and where it is natural to find references to animals from Chinese mythology, is one of the main characteristics of the enclosure.


One of the most famous places is known as the Dragon Wall. This, wavy, recreates the shape of the classical Chinese dragon and ends with sculptures of the various dragons’ heads that are represented on the wall.

We can also enter and visit some of the most important pavilions of the garden, as is the case of the Yule Water pavilion and the Nine Lions Water pavilion, as well as the well-known Wanhua Chamber, which served as a cloister. In addition, in front of this chamber is a copy of ginkgo with more than 400 years.

Finally, we will arrive at one of the most touristic points of the garden: the Jade Rock. Standing over three meters tall, it has over 70 holes that are used for smoke to filter through creating a magical effect. And we must not miss crossing the Nine Curves Bridge or enjoying the views from the Huxinting Tea House, which is lit every night with traditional lanterns.

Useful tips for the visit

Once in Shanghai The easiest way to get to Yuyuan Garden is to take line 10 of the city’s subway. From there, we will only have to walk about 10 minutes to reach the garden. The best thing is that admission is completely free.

Also, Once the visit is over, we can see other interesting parts without leaving the neighborhood. In fact, in one of the streets adjoining the enclosure we will find one of the best-known bazaars in the city. This, created during the Ming and Qing dynasties, still has buildings from that time and offers the opportunity to get lost in its shops or eat in its traditional restaurants.

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