Suzhou (Template:Zh-stpw; sometimes seen transliterated as Su-chow, Suchow, or Soochow) is one of the most famous cities in China. It lies in the lower reaches of the Yangtze and on the shores of lake Taihu in the province of Jiangsu. It is part of the Golden Triangle region. The city enjoys advantageous geography and excellent land, water and air transportation. The GDP per capita was 30470 (ca. US$3680) in 2003, ranked no. 25 among 659 Chinese cities.

Location ?
- Total Area
8,848 km²
- Population
Total population
Urban population
Number in Jiangsu Province
5.78 million
2.05 million
Language Chinese - Wu - Suzhouhua
City flower Osmanthus
City tree Camphor Tree
Political division Prefecture-level city



Suzhou, the cradle of Wu culture, is one of the oldest towns in the Yangtze Basin. 2500 years ago, local tribes who named themselves "Gou Wu" in the late Shang Dynasty lived in the area which would become Suzhou.

In 514 BC, during the Spring and Autumn Period, King Helu (阖闾) of Wu (吴) established "Great City of Helu", the ancient name for Suzhou, as his capital.

In 496 BC, Helu was buried in Huqiu (Tiger Hill).

In 473 BC, Wu was defeated by Yue, another kingdom to the east that was soon annexed by Chu in 306 BC. The golden era of Suzhou was over.

By the time of Qin Dynasty, the city was known as Wu County. Xiang Yu (项羽) staged his historical uprising here in 209 BC; Qin was overthrown.

During Sui Dynasty, the city was renamed Suzhou in 589 AD.

When the Grand Canal was completed, Suzhou found itself placed strategically on a major trading route. In the course of the history of China, it has been a metropolis of industry and commerce in the south-eastern coast of China.

During Tang Dynasty (825 AD), the great poet Bai Juyi (白居易) constructed the Shantang Canal to connect the city with Huqiu for the tourists. In 1035 AD, the Confucius temple was founded.

In February 1130, the advancing Jin army from the north sacked the city and committed a holocaust, which was to be followed by Mongol invasion (1275) and destruction of the royal city (in the centre of the walled city) in the beginning of Ming Dynasty (1367).

Afterwards, the city had a more prosperous time; many of the famous private gardens were constructed by the gentiles of Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. However, the city was to see another disaster in 1860 when Taiping soldiers advanced on and captured the city. In November 1863 the Ever Victorious Army of Charles Gordon recaptured the city from the Taiping forces.

After this the next crisis was the Japanese invasion (1937). Many gardens were devastated by the end of the war. In the early 1950s, restoration was done on Zhuo-Zheng Yuan (Humble Administrator's Garden), Dong Yuan (East Garden), and others, to bring them back to life. Consequently, most of the existing gardens reflects the architecture style of Qing Dynasty (1616-1911 AD), albeit many of had a history dating back to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).
The Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou, P.R.
The Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou, P.R. China

In 1981, this ancient city was listed by the State Council as one of the four cities (the other three being Beijing, Hangzhou and Guilin) where the protection of historical and cultural heritage as well as natural scenery should be treated as a priority project.

Gardens in Suzhou were added to the list of the World Heritage Sites in 1997 and 2000.

Districts and Satellite cities

  • Area: 8,488 km² (city proper: 1,650 km&sup2)
  • Population: about 5.91 million (city proper: 2.17 million)

Suzhou has juridiction over (at county level):


  • Tiger Hill (Huqiu) [1] (
  • Xuanmiao Guan (originally built in 276 AD, rebuilt in 1584)
  • Huqiu Temple (originally built in 327, rebuilt in 1871)
  • Cold Mountain Temple (Hanshan Si) [2] ( (built in 503, destroyed and rebuilt many times, last reconstruction in 1896)
  • Baodai Bridge (built in 816, rebuilt in 1442)
  • Shantang Canal (built in 825)
  • Huqiu Pagoda (built in 961, destroyed & rebuilt several times, last reconstruction in 1773)
  • Ruiguang Pagoda (built in 1009)
  • Shizi Lin (built in 1342)
  • Lingering Garden (Liu Yuan) [3] ( (built in 1525, rebuilt in 1953)
  • Blue Wave Pavilion (Canglang Ting) [4] ( (built in 1696)
  • Humble Administrator's Garden (Zhuozheng Yuan) [5] ( (built in 1513, rebuilt in 1860)



Local Celebrities


"A very great and noble city... It has 1600 stone bridges under which a galley may pass." - Marco Polo
"Capital of Silk", "Land of Abundance", "Gusu city", "Oriental Venice", "cradle of the Wu Culture", and "World of Gardens"
- nicknames of Suzhou
"Paradise in Heaven, Suzhou and Hangzhou on earth." - Chinese saying
"Born in Suzhou, live in Hangzhou, eat in Guangzhou, and die in Liuzhou." - Chinese saying

See also

Colleges and Universities


  • Suzhou University (苏州大学)
  • University of Science and Technology of Suzhou (苏州科技学院)

Note: Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

External links

Template:Jiangsude:Suzhou (Jiangsu) es:Suzhou fr:Suzhou ja:蘇州 no:Suzhou pt:Suzhou zh:苏州


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