Lingering Garden is a renowned classical Chinese garden. It is located at 338 Liuyuan Rd. Suzhou, Jiangsu province, China. It is recognized with other classical Suzhou gardens as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1997, the garden, along with other classical gardens in Suzhou, was recorded by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The garden also stores two UNESCO Intangible World Heritage Arts; Pingtan and Guqin music.
Lingering Garden is located outside the Changmen gate of Suzhou, Jiangsu province. It was commissioned by Xu Taishi, an impeached and later exonerated official in 1593 CE. Stonemason Zhou Shicheng designed and built the East Garden as it was initially called. The East Garden became famous in its day when the magistrates of Wu and Changzhou County both praised the design of Shi Ping Peak, a rockery constructed to resemble Tiantai Mountain in Putao.
Ownership passed to Liu Su, another official in 1798 CE. After extensive reconstruction, he renamed it Cold Green Village after a verse, "clean cold color of bamboo, limpid green light of water". Keeping with that theme, he added pine and bamboo groves. He was an avid collector of Scholar stones and added 12 more to the garden housing them in the "stone forest". It was also at this time the "Celestial Hall of Five Peaks" was built. The garden soon acquired the nickname "Liu Yuan" from the owner's surname. From 1823 CE the garden was open to public, and became a famed resort.
Ownership passed to Sheng Kang, a provincial treasurer of Hubei in 1873 CE. He repaired the damaged caused to the garden by the chaos of the Taiping. After three years the reconstruction was complete in 1876 CE, and the garden was renamed to Liu Yuan. The name, while homophonous to an older name, connotes leisure and is thus pays tribute to the former owner as well as the resort period of the garden. It was at this time the "Auspicious Cloud Capped Peak" stone was moved to its current location. The garden was inherited by Sheng Xuanhuai from his father, he abandoned the garden in 1911 and it fell into disrepair.
During Sino-Japanese War, the garden was abandoned again, and it even degenerated into breeding zone for army's horses. After establishment of the People's Republic of China, Suzhou government took over and renovated the garden. It was reopened to the public in 1954. In 2001 the garden was added to the UNESCO Word Heritage list, and remains a major tourist destination.