Events, including Chinese opera, are sometimes held in the gardens — ask our guide if anything is happening during your visit!
The Kezhi Garden can be found in Zhujiajiao, an ancient water town that is a suburb of Shanghai. The town’s history reaches back roughly 1700 years and is etched into the cobbled roads and curved rock bridges that span its waterways. It is often described as “The Venice of Shanghai,” but is also rather poetically known as “Pearl Stream,” perhaps because its historical core has been so well preserved — it is certainly the best preserved of the four ancient towns in Shanghai.
Grand townhouses from the Ming and Qing dynasties dominate Zhujiajiao, but its greatest treasure is surely the Kezhi Garden. This huge manorial garden is more commonly known as the Ma Family Garden, in honour of a former host called Ma Wengin. The garden is among the largest in southern China and offers a precious connection to the history and spirituality of the country — something that is often lost in the relentless development of urban China.
In the garden’s artificial hill area there is symbolic architecture, the highlight being a five-story building upon which stands the Moon View Pavilion. Secluded, serene and beautiful, the pavilion encapsulates something of the essence of China, before the breakneck 20th century.
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