Much smaller than its famous neighbor, The Humble Administrator’s Garden, the Lion Grove Garden features a labyrinthine rockery made of Taihu lake limestone.
Lion Grove Garden was built in 1342 during the Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) by Zen Buddhist monk Wen Tianru who dedicated the garden in memory of his teacher Abbot Zhongfeng. The garden gets its name from the rising and falling shapes of the labyrinthine rocks, which are said to resemble the backs of lions.
The rockeries form layers rising and falling to form peaks, crags, valleys, and caverns. Visitors can climb on top of these structures or explore from beneath, through the hollowed-out, dark and cavernous tunnels. The rockery surrounds a central pond, an element common throughout Chinese classical gardens, and a housing complex curves around the outside with various raised viewing pavilions.