Suzhou is located beside Taihu Lake，and it is a fertile and scenic land with a subtropical monsoon climate，moderate with distinctive four seasons. Suzhou is a city of rivers and canals and also a city of gardens. Hence it is called the“Venice of the Orient" . Suzhou was first established in 514 BC and it was once the capital city of Kingdom cf Wu. King of Wu became the most powerful of the time because of the support of the mighty economy of the area. In Song， Yuan，Ming and Qing Dynasties，Suzhou boasted as the most abundant“land of grain and meat" of the nation and thus began from Song Dynasty the famous sayings that“Suzhou on earth matches paradise in Heaven" and“bumper harvests in Suzhou alone are enough for the whole nation"
Suzhou is the site of the prosperous Wu culture，and it has bred up a great many of scholars and high officials in all dynasties. When these scholars and high officials returned to their birthplace because of either retirement after ambition fulfillment or for hermitage due to disappointment，they would spend a great amount of money on gardens for literary cultivation in their senior years. Besides，the beautiful topography，gentle customs，and peaceful ife of Suzhou's also helped to promot the construction and advance of so many landscape gardens in Suzhou.
The Ming and Qing dynasties between the 14th and 20th century were its prime periods of garden building，when at onetime there were more than 200 private family gardens. A dozen of them are still in good condition today，including the top four classic gardens-the Fisherman's Net Garden，Lion Grove. Humble Administrator's Garden and Lingering Garden.
The Humble Administrator`s Garden，the largest，occupies four hectares. It was built in 1522 during the Ming Qynasty. Water accounts for three-fifths of its total area. All the major buildings face the water. Centering on the pool，bridges and corridors harmoniously link up isles，rockeries，pavilions and towers. The garden shows a natural and flowing artistic style.
The Lingering Garden on the other hand , demonstrates a compact layout and a delicate decorative art.Built in the Ming,it was renovated and expanded in the early 19th century during the Qing Dynasty， to cover an area of 3 .3 hectares as we see it today. The garden is divided into four sections:artificial hills in the west，pastoral scenery in the north，hall and pavilion structures in the east and hills and waters at the center. A winding corridor of over 1 000 meters links them.
留园则展现了一种整体布局紧密和巧妙的装饰艺术。留园建于明朝，19世纪早期的清朝间得到修缮和扩建，建成了现在的占地3. 3公顷的留园。留园由4个部分组成:西区的假山、北区的田园景色、东区的曲廊辛阁和中区的山水。各区间由长约I 000多米的蜿蜒长廊相连。
The unique charm of these gardens has led to their entry into the list of world cultural heritage in 1997.