Yuyuan Garden is a famous classical garden located in Anren Jie, Shanghai. The garden was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying, and this garden was specially built for Pan's parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age.
In the 400 years of its existence, Yuyuan Garden have undergone many changes. During the late Ming Dynasty, it became very dilapidated with the decline of Pan's family. In 1760, some rich merchants bought Yuyuan Garden and spent more than 20 years reconstructing the buildings. During the Opium War of the 19th century, Yuyuan Garden was severely damaged. The Yuyuan Garden you see today is the result of a five year restoration project which began in 1956. The garden was open to the public in September, 1961 and is considered to be one of the most lavish and finest Chinese gardens in the region.
It was declared a national monument in 1982.
One of the highlights of the garden is the Exquisite Jade Rock. It is a 5-ton, porous, beautifully-shaped, grotesque rock, which is said to have been carried from Taihu (Tai Lake) in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. The rock is characterized by its wrinkled appearance, slender shape, translucent nature and numerous holes eroded by water. An interesting legend goes that the rock was found some 1000 years ago, and it was originally one of Song Emperor Huizong's private collection before it found its way into Yu Garden.