Do you ever heard about Venice? I think it should be rather asked, who did not hear about this city. But beside this most famous Venice located in Italy, there are a few places all over the world, which are called Venice or rather “Venice of …”.
A few of them have a unique description, e.g.:
Shanghai in China is called Venice of the Orient, due to many parks and green areas covering significant part of a city, creating the impression of a urban jungle.
The Marais Poitevin, a large area of marshland in western France, is a maze of small islands crossed by beautiful canals now used for tourist row-boating and known as The Green Venice.
But, if one tells “Venice of East”, it can be more dubious. This description is used for a few famous cities, located at the waterside and crossed by canals.
I would like to write a little about one of them, Suzhou, a city located in southeastern Jiangsu Province of East China, not far from Shanghai. The city’s 24 canals, numerous bridges, other buildings, but first of all beautifully designed gardens make this city one of the top tourist attractions in China. The Classical Gardens of Suzhou are on the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1997. Most of these gardens were created by rich traders and mandarins as a sign of their rivalry.
The most famous gardens of Suzhou, preserved to present days, are:
- Master of the Nets Garden (Wangshi Yuan)
- Lion Grove Garden – (Shi Zi Lin Yuan)
- Humble Administrator’s Garden – (Zhuozheng Yuan)
- Lingering Garden (Liu Yuan)
Another city famous for its old beautiful garden is Hangzhou, also sometimes called as Venice of East. Among other there were a private garden of the emperor Qianlong . Many gardens were located along the West lake, unfortunately, only appr. 8 are left from around 100.
Tenochtitlan was a Mexica city-state located on an island in Lake Texcoco, in the Valley of Mexico. it became the capital of the Aztec Empire until captured by the Spanish in 1521. It is called sometimes as Venice of Aztecs.
The city was surrounded by artificial floating gardens with canal waterways and rich gardens of many plants. These floating gardens called chiampas, were made of mud and plants. There was also a habit to cultivate plants on the roofs of houses.
- Hobhouse P., 2002, The Story of Gardening
- Majdecki L., 2016. History of gardens