Le Parc des Buttes Chaumont is without a doubt my favourite Parisien park. No matter the season it’s always a lovely spot to escape to for a bit of nature and a break from city life.
A lot of Paris’ other parks are either quite tiny in size or take on a more formal French garden style but Buttes Chaumont has nothing in common with other Paris green spots. It’s large, on a hill and wonderfully wild. In Autumn the view from the hill over the top of the lake is particularly spectacular as the trees take on a mixture of different red and orange tones. The island in the middle of the lake with it’s fairytale-style turret viewpoint has to be visited too, from here you’ll get a brilliant vista over Paris, you can even spy the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre in the distance.
Down in the lower valley of the park you can explore caves with huge waterfalls and rockpools. Children (and adults!) can also enjoy a traditional French puppet theatre and other quaint children’s attractions. If all that exploration leaves you a bit tired you can always stop for a drink or snack in the park bars and cafés too, the Rosa Bonheur bar comes particularly recommended, it’s become a really trendy hang-out in recent years and is open until the small hours in warmer months.
This is the third biggest park in Paris, after Tuileries and Villette, and it includes such unusual features as man-made cliffs (the only cliffs in Paris, as far as I know), a man-made lake, a man-made grotto and lots of exotic plants all labeled with their name and place of origin.
For several centuries the Buttes-Chaumont area was the site of the gallows, where condemned people were hung. Esmeralda in Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris 1482 was not hung here, but I think this was where they disposed of her body afterwards, and where Quasimodo found her.
In any case, the site was long used as a public dump for garbage and dead horses, also for dead people who were not entitled to a proper burial. Also there were lots of gypsum quarries here, so there area was quite a mess when it was incorporated into the city of Paris in 1860. The emperor Napoleon III and his city planner, Georges-Eugène Haussmann, decided it had to be cleaned up, so it was gradually re-developed into a city park with a fantasy landscape (they used dynamite to make the cliffs) and an imitation Roman temple at the highest point.
It all looks a bit phony, but no one seems to mind. The park is very popular with joggers and people just strolling around.
Vélib' 19021, 19024
Location on the Vélib' map
Métro Buttes Chaumont
Next review from July 2012: Autolib’
If you have time you should visit the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. It's located in the 19th district and offers some nice walks for kids and adults. In the middle of the park there is an artificial lake with an artificial rock. It's really nice to climb the rock because from up there you got a really wonderful view to Sacre Ceur. If you are afraid of hights you better don't go there ;-)
Another small island of tranquility in the far-flung region of Outer Paris. If you've come from the Parc des Buttes Chaumont (porte Secretan) just after the Fondation Opthalmique at no. 21 rue Manin a set of steps (78, to be precise, I've counted them) take you up to around 100 metres high. These streets were built on the site of an old stadium around 1927 with some lovely houses, away from the bustle of down below in Belleville.
At the far end of these few streets is a superb view that englobes the whole of Paris that warrants being up there at sunset.
Nearest metro is probably Bolivar or Colonel Fabien.
This splendid building is the home of the Rothschild foundation for the treatment of anything pertaining to the eyes. Built between 1902 - 1905, the hospital is open to all "without distinction of nationality, religious belief or political opinions". It became part of the Public Service hospitals in 1990.
To be found at 25 rue Manin 75019 Paris just across the road from the Secretan exit of the parc des Buttes Chaumont.
I had read about this park before but thought it was a bit out of the way. However over the last year or two we have been venturing further afield and having seen the great tips by VT contributor 'davequ' (you should really read his pages - they're great : http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/48d21/18308/ ) we decided to take a trip to Bellevile and beyond and to take in this park. This was a Saturday morning in April 2008 and as it seemed to be one of the first really sunny days of the year the park was full of people either exercising, bringing their children to play, walking dogs, or just hanging out in the sun. We absolutely loved it and spent a really great few hours exploring and watching the world go by. There are quite a few different parts to the park and it has a few hills but nothing desperately strenuous if you're reasonably fit - you can miss them out whilst still enjoying the beauty of the place. If you do feel like a bit of exertion tho' the view from the 'temple' at the top is fantastic - right across to Sacre Coeur. Having done the exploring we sat down with a yummy crepe (citron et sucre - the simple ones are the best!) We'd definitely take a picnic next time.
Il faut se méfier des mots. . . . . . . Mistrust the words, be wary with them. . . . . . That is what is written on this giant blackboard, and it seems to be hauled up here to remind this full of good sense sentence. This work of art is quite realistic, with the man sitting on the top of the building and the other looking up from the nacelle. This is one example of the street art you can see in rue de Belleville.
Rue de Belleville runs North from Boulevard de La Vilette, prolongation of rue du Faubourg du Temple and separates 19th and 20th districts of Paris ; this street climbs on the high North East hills of Paris, leaving les Buttes Chaumont on the left (if you go up !) and arriving at Porte des Lilas. Rue de Belleville is a melting pot of the popular Paris, a former working class district, and still a very busy street, with very cosmopolite surroundings; North Africa, south East Asia, Central Europe, probably all the world is represented here, and all communities live in good neighbourhood. This old quarter (Belleville was a separate town till the 18th century) is being renovated in many places and before a popular place of Paris disappears, visit this place for having a bit of the atmosphere of popular Paris.
This “tip” here is just about walking in the street, and having some scents of the world in the same place; also for a bit of street art. The main picture is an artwork of Ben. Jean le Gac painted a detective looking for some clue on a crime spot (second picture). Both paints are near number 60, in rue de Belleville.
On the three other pictures are street scenes where you see a north African butchery near Asiatic shops, a Chinese restaurant near an Italian restaurant, Asian fruits (with excellent and “smelly” durian) near a typical French wine bar, etc, etc, etc. . . . .
Best to visit is to begin on top, at metro porte des Lilas and walk down till metro Belleville, no exceptional buildings and monuments, but atmosphere, even on Sundays, and if you have time take the little side streets.
Les marcheurs seront ravis d'arpenter son relief pentu, les flâneurs de s'allonger sur les pelouses... ce parc paysager, romantique en diable, est le plus escarpé et le plus grand des jardins publics de Paris.
The walkers will be delighted to survey its damaged relief, the strollers to lie down on the lawns... this landscape park, romantic in devil, is the more steep and biggest of the public gardens of Paris
Le parc des Buttes-Chaumont est le plus escarpé et le plus grand des 426 jardins de Paris, à l'exception du jardin des Tuileries et du parc de La Villette. C'est un parc paysager, une forme évoluée du jardin anglo-chinois, dont la conception irrégulière s'oppose au genre régulier des jardins dits " à la française ". Il offre aux regard des plus avertis une juxtaposition de tableaux s'inspirant des paysages de Fragonard, et surtout d'Hubert Robert, peintre des jardins de Rome.
Par les effets de surprise, de couleurs, et la disposition des végétaux certains pourraient même y remarquer l'influence de Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Une île rocheuse se dresse au centre de son célèbre lac, et dévoile un romantique petit temple de la Sybille, qui occupe l'emplacement exacte de l'ancienne carrière à ciel ouvert, tandis que la grotte se situe à l'entrée d'une carrière souterraine.
Le temple de la Sybille est une réplique du temple de Tivoli. Il est né du talent de l'architecte Davioud en 1869, qui utilisa un style composite, ionique et corinthien (feuilles d'acanthes, fruits et têtes de lions), comportant 8 colonnes et un soubassement en pierre du Jura. Vous y accèderez par la " passerelle suspendue " faite en bois de chêne, qu'il ne faut pas confondre avec le pont en pierre dit des " suicidés ".
Cette promenade ravira les bons marcheurs qui pourront allier exercice physique, en raison de son fort dénivelé, et beauté paysagère.
Not one of Paris's better known parks, but certainly one of it's most beautiful, Parc des Buttes Chaumonts provides much needed green space in the rather dreary 19th arrondissement.
Built on the site of a quarry in the 19th Century there's much to see in the park including a lake, high cliffs, a lookout tower and a waterfall. There is also a small bridge known as the "Pont des Suicides" which gained notoriety in the 19th century when rejected lovers used to throw themselves from the bridge.
Here is a pic of the "suicide bridge" in Buttes-Chaumont park.
It has earned its nickname with its infamous history.
The park is relaxing place for many Parisians, who live here, after working day. Some just sit here, some come to eat here, also run or enjoy the evening sun.
The park was made here in the 19th century instead of old collier. Here were formed small hills, lakes, paths and also waterfall. There are in the park planted beautiful flowers and trees. On the top of hill is located nice, white temple, from which you can enjoy sundown over Sacre-Coeur. If you get lucky, you may here the locals playing music.
One beautiful park worth visiting is "Parc des Buttes Chaumont "
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is actually very popular and not "off the beaten path" but it is a little outside Paris central in 19th Arr and takes a little while to get to.
But it's worth the trip. Very scenic and "hilly" up-down walking landscape, and the view from the hilltop gazebo of the Sacre Coeur and other parts of Paris is a knockout.
Another one of its features is the infamous Paris "suicide bridge."
NOTE: a time saver - Parc des Buttes Chaumont is quite large. On your first visit it would be tempting & seem logical to take the metro to stop "Buttes Chaumont."
But if you're a "type A" cut-to-the-chase person who just wants to see the best part of the park or if your time is limited, take instead ligne 5 to Metro stop Laumiere and walk south down Ave de Laumiere to the north entrance to the park on rue Manin, across the street from the lovely & photogenic Pl Armand Carrel. It will save you much time & walking.
But the whole park is beautiful and worth half a day if you have time.
A little article is at the link below:
Jack-Travel on ButteChaumont
but there's lots of pictures and articles on the 'net about this beautiful place.
Anthony has some great pictures of the park at his website
Anthonys Home Page
on page 6 of his Paris photos.
Park can be found at Rues Botzaris, Manin
Such a strange name, and still, that one is a beautiful square, situated behind the "Park of the Buttes Chaumont ", meaning, close to the edge of eastern Paris... The Square of the "Red Hat's little mountain" (it's my own translation !!) gives onto the East suburbs of Paris, rather flat, but worth the view, when you want, like me, to enjoy a wider sky.... Subway : Pre St Gervais or Porte des Lilas.
I try to run at least 3 times a week. Buttes Chaumont provides the perfect environment for me to get a solid work out. There are tons of paths that weave in and out of this magnificent park. Buttes Chaumont was orginially a rock quarry, but was converted into a park with a lake in the early 1900s.
Buttes Chaumont is wonderful to visit, whether it be the winter or summer. Locals love to take afternoon strolls through the park. Parisiennes also love to stay in shape by taking a jog or practicing martial arts here.