CONFERENCE CITY

Suzhou is an important historical and cultural city, as well as a scenic tourist place in China. It is adjacent to Shanghai, the largest industrial, financial and trade center in the country. With a temperate climate, fertile land and rich products, Suzhou is famous as the land of fish and rice in China and known as the “paradise on Earth” since ancient times.

In the 11th century BC, the end of the Shang Dynasty, Suzhou was called “Wu”, as the local tribe called itself “Gou Wu”. It is also named “Gusu City” because of the Gusu Mountain in its southwest side.

Suzhou was founded more than 2,500 years ago, in 514 BC, by Wu Zixu. During the Spring and Autumn Period, it was the capital of the State of Wu, and many historical sites related to Xi Shi and Wu Zixu were preserved. In 589 AD, it was named of Suzhou, which remains in use to this day. The old Suzhou city was founded earlier and has a large scale. It basically maintains the double chessboard pattern of “land and water parallel, rivers and streets adjacent to each other” and the primitive style of “small bridges, flowing water, white wallsand black tiles”. At present, the ancient Suzhou city is still located on the original site of the Spring and Autumn Period, and compared to the Song Dynasty “Pingjiang Map”, the overall framework, the backbone-shaped water system, and scenic spots of roads and bridges are basically the same, which is really rare in the world. There are 539 cultural relics and historic sites in the territory, and the only most completely preserved watergate – Panmen is located in Panmen scenic area in the south of the old Suzhou city.

Among many ancient towns, Suzhou's ancient town is a model of Jiangnan water towns. Among them, the representative cities are Zhouzhuang and Jinxi, in Kunshan, Mudu and Luzhi, in Wuzhong, and Tongli, in Wujiang. These ancient towns keep a large number of ancient houses built in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and maintain the original primitive style, water characteristics, folk customs and pastoral scenery. There are many places of interest here, including ancient bridges, towers, temples and houses, each of them with a historical background.

Suzhou was founded more than 2,500 years ago, in 514 BC, by Wu Zixu. During the Spring and Autumn Period, it was the capital of the State of Wu, and many historical sites related to Xi Shi and Wu Zixu were preserved. In 589 AD, it was named of Suzhou, which remains in use to this day. The old Suzhou city was founded earlier and has a large scale. It basically maintains the double chessboard pattern of “land and water parallel, rivers and streets adjacent to each other” and the primitive style of “small bridges, flowing water, white wallsand black tiles”. At present, the ancient Suzhou city is still located on the original site of the Spring and Autumn Period, and compared to the Song Dynasty “Pingjiang Map”, the overall framework, the backbone-shaped water system, and scenic spots of roads and bridges are basically the same, which is really rare in the world. There are 539 cultural relics and historic sites in the territory, and the only most completely preserved watergate – Panmen is located in Panmen scenic area in the south of the old Suzhou city.

Among many ancient towns, Suzhou's ancient town is a model of Jiangnan water towns. Among them, the representative cities are Zhouzhuang and Jinxi, in Kunshan, Mudu and Luzhi, in Wuzhong, and Tongli, in Wujiang. These ancient towns keep a large number of ancient houses built in the Ming and Qing dynasties, and maintain the original primitive style, water characteristics, folk customs and pastoral scenery. There are many places of interest here, including ancient bridges, towers, temples and houses, each of them with a historical background.

Tiger Hill
Tiger Hill, located in Suzhou, is a popular tourist destination with a rich history dating back over 2,500 years. It features a leaning tower, the Tiger Hill Pagoda, as well as numerous gardens, pavilions, and temples. Visitors can explore the beautiful scenery, learn about the area's cultural heritage, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this historic landmark.
According to a legend, it was the location of the detached palace of Wu’s king Helu. In 496 BC, Helu died after being wounded in a battle between Wu and Yue, and his son Fuchai buried his body there. It is said that three days after the burial, a golden beast turned into a white tiger and squatted on it, so the location was given the name “Tiger Hill”.
The North Temple Tower
The North Temple was built at the top of Suzhou and can be seen from the ancient city. It dates back 1700 years and is the oldest pagoda in Suzhou. It was built during the Chiwu Period of The Three Kingdoms. Lady Wu, an aristocrat from Suzhou, was Sun Quan’s adoptive mother. His birth mother, Lady Wu’s sister, died early, so Sun Quan was raised by Lady Wu. For that reason, the North Temple pagoda is also called the Temple Pagoda of Gratitude.
Hanshan Temple
Hanshan Temple was built during the reign of Liang Tianjian in the Southern dynasty, with a history dating back 1,500 years. In the early years of the Tang dynasty, two eminent monks from Tiantai, Hanshan and Shide, came to preside over the temple, making it an important Buddhist shrine, and named it after the buddhist monk Hanshan.
Hanshan Temple in Suzhou is a famous Buddhist temple with a long history and cultural heritage. It features an ancient five-story pagoda and a 14-meter-high bronze statue of the Maitreya Buddha. Visitors can appreciate the beauty of ancient architecture, art, and gain insight into Zen culture, to deeply feel the harmony between humans and nature.
Zhouzhuang Ancient Town
Known as the "finest water town" in China, Zhouzhuang was selected by CNN as one of the “top 10 most beautiful towns in the World”, and was listed on the tentative list of World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. The town is surrounded by water and built along the river. Crossing the street arcade, the gurgling water and the pavilions along the river banks combined perfectly. The bridges in Zhouzhuang are simple but various and full of classic charm, which is quite thought-provoking. The scenery of creaking orcs, small bridges and flowing water is full of poetry.

Lakes and rivers in Suzhou are scattered all over the city like stars in the sky. Water covers 42% of its total area. Tai Lake, one of the four major freshwater lakes in China, comprises four-fifths of the water area and is surrounded by scenic spots such as Dongshan, Xishan, Guangfu, Shihu, Yushan and Shanghu. The world-famous Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal runs from north to south.

The water system outside and inside the city is interconnected through the Ancient City River, which constitutes the corresponding organic whole of the breath. Yet, it still plays an important role in transportation, cultural tourism and so on. The water system can be described as the wonder of China’s Grand Canal. Suzhou is the water city with China’s longest river and numerous bridges. Marco Polo called Suzhou “The Venice of the East”, and the French Enlightenment thinker Montesquieu praised it as an “uncanny workmanship”.

Lakes and rivers in Suzhou are scattered all over the city like stars in the sky. Water covers 42% of its total area. Tai Lake, one of the four major freshwater lakes in China, comprises four-fifths of the water area and is surrounded by scenic spots such as Dongshan, Xishan, Guangfu, Shihu, Yushan and Shanghu. The world-famous Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal runs from north to south.

The water system outside and inside the city is interconnected through the Ancient City River, which constitutes the corresponding organic whole of the breath. Yet, it still plays an important role in transportation, cultural tourism and so on. The water system can be described as the wonder of China’s Grand Canal. Suzhou is the water city with China’s longest river and numerous bridges. Marco Polo called Suzhou “The Venice of the East”, and the French Enlightenment thinker Montesquieu praised it as an “uncanny workmanship”.

Suzhou is the birthplace of the Wu culture. In history, skillful men have emerged in multitudes in the literary world. Painting, calligraphy, seal carving, and poetry schools have been brilliant and varied. Kunqu Opera, Suzhou Opera and Pingtan are known as the “three flowers” in Suzhou’s Art Garden. They feature exquisite performance and natural and unrestrained melody. Suzhou embroidery, “kesi”, jade carving, song brocade and woodcarving and other splendid crafts are also well-known locally and abroad.

Suzhou is the birthplace of the Wu culture. In history, skillful men have emerged in multitudes in the literary world. Painting, calligraphy, seal carving, and poetry schools have been brilliant and varied. Kunqu Opera, Suzhou Opera and Pingtan are known as the “three flowers” in Suzhou’s Art Garden. They feature exquisite performance and natural and unrestrained melody. Suzhou embroidery, “kesi”, jade carving, song brocade and woodcarving and other splendid crafts are also well-known locally and abroad.

Kunqu Opera
Kunqu Opera is China’s first world intangible cultural heritage. It arose in Kunshan at the end of the Yuan dynasty and beginning of the Ming dynasty. Kunqu Opera flourished rapidly in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Some artistic elements, such as script writing , acting , clothing and musical production, have witnessed rapid development because of the prosperity of Kunqu Opera industry.
The prosperity of Kunqu Opera triggered a great number of excellent actors and famous writers, leaving a lot of legendary scripts for posterity, such as “The Peony Pavilion”, which has been performed at the Golden Concert Hall in Vienna, Austria.
Silk
Driven by Kunqu Opera, other life elements in Suzhou gradually became popular. Most of the popular costumes and styles in Ming and Qing dynasties came from the southern regions of the Yangtze River, which belonged mostly to Suzhou. Hence, Suzhou pioneered the fashion industry for later generations, and wealthy families everywhere are proud to wear clothes made or designed in Suzhou. After the Ming dynasty, Suzhou established its position as the national silk center. Then, silk products led the fashion and aesthetic of classical China.

From the Song dynasty, the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, being a famous historical and cultural city in China, Suzhou has enjoyed many unique private gardens for over a thousand years. “Gardens on the Yangtze Delta are the best in the world. Suzhou gardens are the best on the Yangtze Delta.” In ancient times, Suzhou’s flourishing economy and fewer war episodes contributed to the vast building of mansions by dignitaries. Hence, men of letters and skilled craftsmen gathered, thus making homestead gardens scattered all over like stars. There were more than 150 gardens,witch of them were mostly prevailing in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Two of the four famous gardens in China, the Humble Administrator’s Garden and the Lingering Garden, are located in Suzhou. Nine classical gardens - Humble.

Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, Huanxiu Villa, Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty, Master of the Nets Garden, Garden of Cultivation, Garden of Couple’s Retreat, Pavilion of Surging Waves to Retreat and Reflection Garden - have been included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO. These classical gardens collectively embody the essence of Oriental gardening art. They are adept at combining pavilions, terraces, buildings, springs, stones, flowers and wood all together, thereby creating a harmonious living environment between man and nature in the city.

From the Song dynasty, the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, being a famous historical and cultural city in China, Suzhou has enjoyed many unique private gardens for over a thousand years. “Gardens on the Yangtze Delta are the best in the world. Suzhou gardens are the best on the Yangtze Delta.” In ancient times, Suzhou’s flourishing economy and fewer war episodes contributed to the vast building of mansions by dignitaries. Hence, men of letters and skilled craftsmen gathered, thus making homestead gardens scattered all over like stars. There were more than 150 gardens,witch of them were mostly prevailing in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Two of the four famous gardens in China, the Humble Administrator’s Garden and the Lingering Garden, are located in Suzhou. Nine classical gardens - Humble.

Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, Huanxiu Villa, Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty, Master of the Nets Garden, Garden of Cultivation, Garden of Couple’s Retreat, Pavilion of Surging Waves to Retreat and Reflection Garden - have been included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO. These classical gardens collectively embody the essence of Oriental gardening art. They are adept at combining pavilions, terraces, buildings, springs, stones, flowers and wood all together, thereby creating a harmonious living environment between man and nature in the city.

Humble
Administrator’s Garden
Humble Administrator’s Garden was built more than 500 years ago, and is the oldest among the four famous gardens in China, as well as the largest among the classical gardens in Suzhou. The garden vistas center on waters. There are waters and mountains dotted, with numerous pavilions, lush trees and flowers. One step makes a difference. Humble Administrator’s Garden enjoys strong characteristics of Jiangnan water town, which reflects the artistic style of primitive simplicity and natural garden of the Ming dynasty.
Lingering Garden
Lingering Garden was built in the 21st year of Wanli in the Ming dynasty. It was a private garden of Xu Taishi, Shaoqin of Taipu Temple. It was also known as the East Garden. It is the garden representing the style of the Qing dynasty. The building layout is compact and refined. Humble Administrator’s Garden is famous for its big size, while Lingering Garden is famous for being small. Lingering Garden pays more attention to the processing of space and it is famous for its exquisite architecture. It forms a rhythmical garden space system and has become a world-renowned example of the art form of architectural space.

In the face of the new era, Suzhou, with a history dating back 2,500 years, has built a modern international city with a high degree of cultural confidence through inheritance and innovation.

Many historic and cultural buildings in the ancient city are repaired as old as ever, and developed and used on the basis of not changing the old style. Some buildings are embedded in the core of the times. It has been made into a fashion sense of the crowd innovation space. The historical remains in Suzhou are not abandoned. Instead, they are integrated into the life of modern people, forming a unique Suzhou disposition. In addition to humanistic tradition and beyond the twists and turns of the alley, Suzhou Center, the Gate of the Orient, the City of Science and Technology, light rail and high-speed rail together have rearranged the map of Suzhou. Public cultural facilities with complete types, perfect functions and first-class quality can be seen everywhere. On each ordinary day, Suzhou keeps playing the moving movement of harmony between traditional culture and modern civilization quietly and frequently. The Suzhou soft dialect blows out misty and rainy lanes, melting into the endless flow of people, traffic, high buildings and large mansions. They collectively present an instrumental ensemble with the new charm of a new city.

In the face of the new era, Suzhou, with a history dating back 2,500 years, has built a modern international city with a high degree of cultural confidence through inheritance and innovation.

Many historic and cultural buildings in the ancient city are repaired as old as ever, and developed and used on the basis of not changing the old style. Some buildings are embedded in the core of the times. It has been made into a fashion sense of the crowd innovation space. The historical remains in Suzhou are not abandoned. Instead, they are integrated into the life of modern people, forming a unique Suzhou disposition. In addition to humanistic tradition and beyond the twists and turns of the alley, Suzhou Center, the Gate of the Orient, the City of Science and Technology, light rail and high-speed rail together have rearranged the map of Suzhou. Public cultural facilities with complete types, perfect functions and first-class quality can be seen everywhere. On each ordinary day, Suzhou keeps playing the moving movement of harmony between traditional culture and modern civilization quietly and frequently. The Suzhou soft dialect blows out misty and rainy lanes, melting into the endless flow of people, traffic, high buildings and large mansions. They collectively present an instrumental ensemble with the new charm of a new city.