Located in the heart of Portland, Oregon, Lan Su Chinese Garden is a mesmerizing destination that transports visitors to a serene and cultural oasis. The garden is a masterpiece of traditional Chinese gardening, combining art, architecture, nature, and culture to create a harmonious and peaceful environment that reflects the principles of Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism.
The idea of Lan Su Chinese Garden was born in 1988 when the City of Portland and the City of Suzhou, China signed a sister city agreement. Suzhou is known for its beautiful gardens and it was decided that Portland should have a garden of its own. The construction of the garden started in 1999 and was completed in 2000. The garden covers an area of one full city block and is enclosed by high walls to create a sense of privacy and intimacy.
The garden follows the principles of classical Chinese garden design, which emphasize the harmony between man and nature and the integration of landscape, architecture, and poetry. A traditional Chinese garden is not just a collection of trees and plants but an expression of the Chinese culture and philosophy. Each element of the garden has a symbolic meaning and is carefully arranged to create a balance between yin and yang, the two opposing forces of nature.
Lan Su Chinese Garden is a symphony of water, rocks, trees, and buildings that create a tranquil and enchanting environment. The garden is divided into several sections, each with its own theme and design. Here are some of the key features of the garden:
The Courtyard of Tranquility – This is the main entrance of the garden and it features a large pond with colorful koi fish, a zigzag bridge, and a pavilion for tea ceremonies.
The Hall of Brocade Clouds – This is the largest building in the garden and it serves as a venue for cultural events and performances. The building has a unique oval shape and is adorned with traditional Chinese motifs such as dragons and phoenixes.
The Scholar’s Courtyard – This is a quiet and secluded area that represents the intellectual and artistic side of Chinese culture. The courtyard features a bamboo grove, a rock garden, and a calligraphy studio.
Lan Su Chinese Garden is a hidden gem in the heart of Portland that offers a unique and enlightening experience for visitors of all ages and interests. The garden is a testament to the beauty and harmony of traditional Chinese gardening and a bridge between the cultures and communities of Portland and Suzhou. Whether you are looking for peace and tranquility, culture and education, or social and recreational opportunities, Lan Su Chinese Garden has something for everyone.