Tongli was built up during the Song Dynasty (10th century) and has a history of more than 1,000 years. The name Tongli sounds nice and is easy to remember. The area was originally known as "rich soil" (富土) but because this name was considered too much of an exaggeration the name was changed in the early Tang Dynasty to “Tongli” (铜里). This name is a reference to copper and represents the wealth of the newly developed town. To create the current form of the name, different pieces of the Chinese characters for “rich soil” (富土) for were moved around. The little dash (丶) at the top of 富 was removed to make 冨. Then the 田 at the bottom of 冨 was placed on top of 土, which creates 里, and leaves the 同 from the top. The result of these alterations is the modern name 同里, which incidentally is also pronounced Tongli.
According to the records of the Jiaqing, a Qing Dynasty of the early 19th century, ever since the Song and Yuan Dynasties Tongli has been an important town in the Wu area (the area around Suzhou). Because it is only a boat ride away from the outside world and rarely suffers from the chaos of war, it became an ideal place for wealthy businessmen to live in peace and safety. It is not difficult to see that the change in a place’s name often depends on the traditions and history of the people who live there.
The Retreat & Reflection Garden was built as a private garden during the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1885). According to the book "Zuo Zhuan", the garden was built as a place for "thinking of loyalty, retreating and replenishing the mind". The park was completed in 1887 and covers an area of 2,800 square meters.
The main features of this garden are as follows. First, the layout is small and exquisite, but not extravagant. The designer of the garden did not emphasise any kind of grand scale and intimidating size, but instead uses concepts from poetry and literature to create the garden, pursuing the charm and poetical nature of the garden. The architectural layouts on display all display an air of refinement and elegance, and the design is light and simple. In 2001, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Panda Education will provide a free day trip to Tongli Ancient Town for any of our students who are interested.
Date: November 24, 2018 07:30-18:00
Includes: Bus to and from Tongli Ancient Town, Tongli Ancient Town Tickets, Tongli Retreat & Reflection Garden Tickets, Guide Service (lunch not provided).
Seats: 4 seats for this event, only for students attending Panda Education. First come, first served.
Notes: If any family members and friends of the students want to participate in this activity, the company will charge a fee of 100 yuan/person.
Booking Deadline: November 15, 2018
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