Suzhou (Template:Zh-stpw; sometimes seen transliterated as Su-chow, Suchow, or Soochow) is one of the most famous cities in China. The city is renowned for its beautiful stone bridges, pagodas, and meticulously designed gardens; Suzhou has also been an important center for China's silk industry since the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and continues to hold that prominent position today. 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. Suzhou 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. The crater Suzhou on planet Mars was named after the city.
|Location||Eastern China, near Shanghai|
- Total Area
|Number in Jiangsu Province
|Language||Chinese - Wu (Suzhouhua)|
|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 496 BC, Helu was buried in Huqiu (Tiger Hill).
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.
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 1950’s, 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).
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.
Districts and Satellite cities
- Area: 8,488 km² (city proper: 1,650 km²)
- Population: about 5.91 million (city proper: 2.17 million)
Suzhou has jurisdiction over (at county level):
- districts: Canglang(沧浪), Jinchang(金阊), Pingjiang (平江), Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou Hi & New Tech Development Zone, Xiangcheng(相城), Wuzhong (吴中)
- County-level cities: Changshu (常熟), Taicang (太仓), Kunshan (昆山), Wujiang (吴江), Wuxian and Zhangjiagang (张家港)
- Tiger Hill (Huqiu) 
- Xuanmiao Guan (originally built in 276 AD, rebuilt in 1584)
- Huqiu Temple (originally built in 327, rebuilt in 1871)
- Cold Mountain Temple (Hanshan Si)  (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)
- Lingering Garden (Liu Yuan)  (built in 1525, rebuilt in 1953)
- Master of the Nets Garden (Wang Shi Yuan) (built in the Song Dynasty)
- Blue Wave Pavilion (Canglang Ting)  (built in 1696)
- Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty
- Lion Grove Garden (built in 1342)
- Garden of Cultivation
- The Retreat & Reflection Garden
- Humble Administrator's Garden (Zhuozheng Yuan)  (built in 1513, rebuilt in 1860)
- Railroad: the Jiangsu-Shanghai Railway
- Highways: the jiangsu-Shanghai Expressway, the Yangtze Riverine Expressway, the Suzhou-Jiaxin-Hangzhou Expressway
- Water transportation: connected with Zhangjiagang, Luzhi, Liujia and Changshou
- Airway: Shuofang Airport and Guangfu United Airlines Airport
- Chinese opera: Kunqu originates in the Suzhou region, as does the much later Suzhou Opera. Ballad-singing, or Suzhou pingtan is a local form of storytelling that mixes singing (accompanied on the pipa) with portions in spoken dialect.
- Handicrafts: Suzhou embroidery, fans, national musical instruments, scroll mounting, lanterns, mahogany furniture, jade carving, silk tapestry, traditional painting pigments of Jiangenxutang Studio, the New Year's wood-block prints of Taohuawu Studio
- Calligraphic art
- Cuisine: Yangcheng Lake huge crab
- Suzhou Silk Hand Embroidery Art, Chinese Suzhou Silk Hand Embroidery Art Paintings
- Fan Chengda (范成大)
- Feng Menglong (冯梦龙)
- Chien-Shiung Wu (吳健雄)
- Others: Gu Yanwu (顾炎武), Zhang Taiyan (章太炎)
- "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
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.
- Suzhou Vista
- Travel China Guide
- Scenic Spots in Suzhou
- Official site, in English
- Official site of Suzhou City, in English