Our Sister Garden

The Yu Yuan Garden in Shanghai was created by Pan Yunduan in 1559 as a private garden. He spent almost 20 years building a garden to please his father Pan En, a high-ranking official in the Ming Dynasty, during his father's old age.

The gardens fell into disrepair, until about 1760 when they were bought by merchants, before suffering extensive damage in the 19th century. In 1842, during the Opium Wars, the British army occupied the Town God Temple for five days. During the Taiping Rebellion the Gardens were occupied by imperial troops, and damaged again by the Japanese in 1942.

They were repaired by the Shanghai government from 1956–1961, opened to the public in 1961, and declared a national monument in 1982.

Visit Yu Yuan Garden's website.

In March 2010 we signed a Sister Garden Agreement with Yu Yuan – we are to be their first and only “Sister”. As they tell us, “we have many friends but only one sister.” The Agreement is designed to be worthwhile for both Gardens with the giving and receiving of staff exchanges to promote cultural understanding and knowledge.

In October 2011 the Director of the Yu garden, Ling Zang visited for the first time, gifting the Garden a magnificent vase, which is proudly on display.

Image - Lion Statue at Dunedin Chinese Garden