The Origen of the Chinese Garden
In 1986 a trade mission from Groningen visited several cities in China. During a visit to a restaurant at the Long Hua temple in Shanghai, one of the members of the mission remarked that Groningen ought to have “something like it”. And so it happened. Master Le Wei Zong, the famous city architect of Shanghai, made his first sketches for the Chinese Garden while visiting the Hortus. Shanghai provided the building materials and the Netherlands covered the costs. Nearly all the material used to create the Chinese Garden—from the stones in the garden to the wood of the pavilions to the furniture of the Cry of the Dragon Teahouse—was shipped to the Netherlands from China. Dozens of Chinese workers and craftsmen put heart and soul into the garden for seven months, building it largely by hand.
The result of the cooperation between the Netherlands and Shanghai is the enchanting Chinese Garden, “The Hidden Kingdom of Ming”. The garden was officially opened by H.M. Queen Beatrix on April 12, 1995.
The names “Shanghai” and “the Netherlands” are on the pillars to the left and right of the entrance to the garden. Above the entrance is written “Friendship Garden”.