Add:North end of Huqiu Road, Suzhou
Su Dongpo, a Northern Song Dynasty poet, once said: “It’s a great pity if one comes to Suzhou without visiting Huqiu (Tiger Hill).” The forested slopes certainly present an enticing atmosphere for a visit to the ancient structure atop Tiger Hill, China’s very own leaning tower.
Fuchai, the emperor of the Wu Kingdom during the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), buried his father Helu on Tiger Hill. Legend has it that three days after the burial, a white tiger was found crouching on the tomb, giving the site its name. A less romantic version of the tale says that the tomb was shaped like a crouching tiger. Either way, the site has long been a favorite for tourists to Suzhou, despite another legend stating that the tomb builders were poisoned at a feast upon its completion, and their remains were hidden somewhere on the hill.
Tiger Hill covers roughly 14,100 square meters and is 36 meters high. Many of the sites on this small hill, including Helu’s tomb (built in 496 BC), stretch back to the early days of Suzhou’s history. The Tiger Hill Pagoda, standing on the summit, is the city’s oldest pagoda and tilts four degrees to the northwest.