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Tiger Hill

Tiger Hill, 7 km northwest of Suzhou, is a large hillock, covering over three acres and is 36 m in height. According to legend, King He Lu of the State of Wu, died in battles against Yue in 496 BC, the neighbor states, buried in the hill, where he had enjoyed himself during his lifetime. Three days after the funeral, a white tiger came and sat upon the grave, seemingly to be a guard, hence the name Tiger Hill. 
Tiger Hill Pagoda stands on the hill's summit surrounded by densely grown woods and bamboo groves, offers thus quite an imposing and lofty sight, in spite of its lean. The pagoda was first built in 959, octagonal in shape. Its architectural style is similar to that of the Leifeng Pagoda in Hangzhou. With a height of 158 feet it has leant 359' to the northwest for the past four hundred years. The presence of this towering pagoda at the top lends a special charm to the hill and that is why the two together have become a symbol of Suzhou.

During the Eastern Jin Dynasty, with a temple built on the hill, Tiger Hill changed into a Buddhism hill from the tomb of the king Helu. In successive dynasties, more and more architectures were added here and with the change of the dynasties. There are a numerous number of cultural sites, including the ancient stone carvings, the horizontal inscribed boards, the couplets, the poems of the celebrities, the paintings and the handwritings.
Sword Testing Stone and Sword Pool:
At the foot of the hill there is a sword pond, 5 meters deep. King He Lu was a zealous collector of rare swords and it is said that he tested them upon the stone, leaving the crevice on the rock. As for his swords, it is believed that they were buried beneath the sword pond as funerary objects.

Verdant Mountain Villa: Built in the tenth year of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) the villa is a masterpiece of the splendid gardens for which Suzhou is so famous. The Verdant Mountain Villa (Yongcui Shanzhuang) was designed so that it embraced the natural scenery and views from the halls and porches are most pleasing to the eye.
Wanjing Villa: The ancient art of bonsai tree growing originated in China and there are thousands of magnificent specimens on display at this villa. Many of the specimens you can see have been awarded prizes in prestigious bonsai competitions. The miniature replicas of full sized gardens will give people an insight into the skill and artistry of Chinese master gardeners that has been handed down from long ago.
By Angela Zhangyue


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