Nan Lian Garden is situated at Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong, occuping an area of 35 000 sq. m. The Garden is connected to Chi Lin Nunnery to its north, with a sprawling mountain range at its back. The Garden is bordered by the Hammer Hill Road on the east and Lung Cheung Road on the south, taking in the full view of southeast Kowloon. In July 2003, the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (“HKSAR”) commissioned Chi Lin to design and build the Garden. The construction work was completed in 2006 and the Garden was opened to the public in November of the same year.
This Garden and the adjacent monastic complex of Chi Lin Nunnery are built in the Tang style. They represent the enactment of timber structure and garden of the ancient Tang Dynasty style in modern times. Chi Lin proposed to the HKSAR Government that the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden be submitted to Unesco as a world heritage site, with a view to promote the long history of China and to strengthen the people of Hong Kong’s awareness and appreciation of traditional Chinese culture. The HKSAR Government supported the idea and a nomination report was submitted to the Central Government towards the end of 2011. On 17 November 2012, the State Administration of Cultural Heritage of China (“SACH”) convened a national working conference on world heritage in Beijing and announced that the Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden of Hong Kong were included in the “Tentative List” of China’s world heritage sites. This is the first step towards becoming a world cultural heritage site. The HKSAR Government will continue its liaison with SACH in preparation for the nomination of Chi Lin Nunnery and Nan Lian Garden as a world cultural heritage site.
The design of Nan Lian Garden was based on Jiangshouju Garden of the Tang Dynasty, a traditional Chinese landscape garden in Shanxi Province. The ancient landscape garden was adorned with springs, hillocks, trees, flowers and plants, pavilions, winding paths and bridges. The Nan Lian Garden follows the rules of traditional Chinese landscape gardening techniques. After the careful choice of site, the original environment is fully utilized, employing the art of borrowing, concealing, penetrating, blocking, and extension of views and also the insulation of noises. The emphasis is on the broadness, depth, height and multi-levels of views. The aim is to create in this limited space, a landscape garden with natural beautiful scenes in miniature. Although the Garden is within the bustling city, visitors who follow the designed Garden route will be able to appreciate the ever-changing scenery and to experience the picturesque and poetic ambience of the Garden. A person has to visit this elegant and serene garden personally to believe its beauty.